Information technology (IT) is the backbone of the modern enterprise. Without functioning IT systems, companies of all sizes would not be able to function effectively and progress would slow to a crawl.
Let’s examine the emerging information technology trends and challenges as well as the modern IT project management solutions designed to overcome them.
What Is the Role of Information Technology?
The typical IT department is primarily responsible for three areas: IT governance, IT operations and hardware and infrastructure. The best IT teams often operate efficiently in the background as they create and automate tasks for smooth business operations.
In general, IT teams play an integral role in the digital transformation of their businesses—beyond computer fixes and software installation, IT teams also facilitate effective internal communication, automate manual processes and build the infrastructure to support department cross-functionality.
The emerging trends in the information technology space revolve around the transition into a hybrid work environment and the potential struggles that accompany them. By being aware of these important trends, IT project teams can find success regardless of their location, work style or role.
An Overview of Today’s IT Industry
It’s not surprising that companies across the globe heavily rely on their IT departments. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics notes that IT employment occupations will grow 13 percent between 2020 and 2030. What’s more, the International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts that the technology industry as a whole will surpass >$5.3 trillion in 2022.
For even more information on the IT industry and emerging trends, make sure to download ProjectManager’s free white paper, How Hybrid Work Management Improves Visibility, Project Governance, Collaboration & Resource Management for IT Teams.
Emerging Trends and Challenges in Information Technology
Despite impressive growth, today’s IT teams are experiencing disruptions that can lead to some common frustrations, as outlined below.
5. Reduced Visibility in IT Projects
Many of today’s hybrid IT teams keep track of their projects through cluttered spreadsheets, confusing email chains and messy handwritten notes. Important project details may be lost in the shuffle between platforms. This issue is particularly harmful when team members are spread across different time zones, working preferences and roles.
This is dangerous for IT teams, as they are often managing risk on behalf of their companies. Without complete visibility into project details such as budget, resources, timeline and individual workload, hybrid IT teams cannot understand the impact they’re having.
Reduced visibility causes IT teams to struggle with how to prioritize projects. Directors and managers cannot determine what projects require immediate action and what projects can wait.
4. Poor Project Governance in IT Departments
Poor project governance builds on problems surrounding reduced visibility in a hybrid environment. Without hybrid work management, the way that IT projects are both requested and executed is messy and unpredictable at best. With 53% of businesses expecting their IT budgets to grow in 2022, businesses need to establish the right processes to set up IT teams for success.
When companies hit a certain size, there are certain legal and compliance implications around customer data. It’s critical that projects are requested and executed in a certain way to maintain quality.
But in this new way of working, ad-hoc projects are managed with ad-hoc processes. With some team members still traveling to an office and others strictly working from home, it’s challenging to establish a workflow that is both productive and intuitive. Getting their work done is no longer the minimum for IT teams. They also need to complete work the right way to avoid costly missteps.
3. Disconnected Collaboration Across the Organization
In addition to poor project governance, another information technology trend is disconnected collaboration. The different roles within IT teams make it difficult to collaborate using outdated and ineffective communication tools. As you can imagine, effective collaboration in the hybrid work model is critical to the success of each project.
IT roles include project managers, business analysts, help desk analysts, hardware technicians, directors and systems engineering managers. These roles must find a way to work together on projects and collaborate with external team members.
This variation is what threatens the collaboration and productivity of each project. What’s more, slowed collaboration through Slack, email chains, Excel sheets and other disconnected tools can waste a significant amount of time while increasing frustration.
2. Difficulties Managing Resources Within IT Teams
Poor collaboration lends itself to difficulties managing resources. IT teams only have a finite amount of resources, and it’s already difficult for them to determine their workload. When projects come through the pipeline, how can they confidently take them on? In the worst-case scenario, poor resource management can pull projects into the red.
As a result, projects may veer off track and you may continually give the same employees the same types of jobs, never fully understanding whether or not you have the right skill sets on your existing team.
1. More IT Teams Are Going Hybrid
As we have hinted at, more and more IT teams are embracing a hybrid work environment. As 76 percent of IT professionals indicated that they prefer to work remotely at least some of the time. This new crop of workers makes up part of a growing hybrid work landscape.
But what does a hybrid work environment mean? In a hybrid work environment, hybrid IT teams can be separated by physical location, their work style preferences and their unique roles within the department. While IT teams have always struggled with pain points, they are realizing that pain points intensify significantly in this new hybrid way of working.
The drastic shifts in where and how internal IT teams work come with a host of challenges that must be resolved for a more productive future.
The Emergence & Benefits of Hybrid Work Management
The above pain points and information technology trends have always been apparent in IT teams. But this new hybrid work environment makes the pain points that much worse. As teams no longer have the in-person access they did when they were in the office, they must establish the core tenets of a successful hybrid work environment in the following ways:
- Tie Collaboration to the Work: By establishing a single place where collaboration happens, IT teams can still be productive despite differences in location, work style and role. Taking steps toward asynchronous communication (as long as it doesn’t happen through disconnected methods) eliminates the need for chasing down messages and one-off pieces of information.
- Embrace Different Work Styles: Another tenet of hybrid work management is embracing different work styles. Acknowledge that different aspects of your team will gravitate toward different styles. Rather than forcing employees to work in a certain way, allowing them to work in the method that makes the most sense for them. Those that prefer to manage their work in sprints can do so, while others may gravitate toward daily to-do lists or spreadsheets.
- Establish a Central Reporting Framework: In the same way that IT teams must be strict about collaborating, they must be strict about openly sharing data with other team members. By establishing one reporting framework, it’s easier than ever to talk to project stakeholders about key data. Teams can check with each role to ensure they have access to the data they need. Everyone should be able to see and understand the data to maximize productivity.
For more information on hybrid work management solutions for IT teams, be sure to download this free whitepaper.
Why ProjectManager Is the Ideal Hybrid Work Management Solution
While you can implement the above tips through disparate tools and low-tech solutions, you can get an all-in-one solution through hybrid work management software. ProjectManager is a hybrid work solution for IT teams that helps you overcome challenges surrounding visibility, project governance, collaboration and resource management. ProjectManager is collaborative to the core, powerful yet cost-effective, and intuitive and easy to use.
Specifically, ProjectManager offers:
- One goal, unlimited ways to work
- Enhanced collaboration features tied directly to the work
- A cost-effective and intuitive platform
ProjectManager’s guidance doesn’t stop here. IT teams can take advantage of our white paper for additional information on how to ease the transition into a hybrid work environment. Download the white paper for free today!
ProjectManager is award-winning software that streamlines hybrid work management for IT teams across the globe. Organize your work, connect teams and create a single source of truth to ensure maximum productivity. Try ProjectManager today for free!