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IT Innovation: 9 Challenges that IT Departments can Overcome Through Innovation Management
Running an IT department in this day and age isn’t easy. On the one hand, there is an almost infinite number of opportunities presented by new technologies. But on the other, cybersecurity threats, limited resources, and countless other headaches present tough hurdles that must be overcome before these opportunities can be seized.
At the same time, the day-to-day at an enterprise company IT department can feel like an endless game of whack-a-mole, with one problem after another requiring attention. Under those conditions, setting aside time to explore new technologies – let alone the time needed to implement them – can feel like a luxury.
IT Innovation: Rising to the Challenge with Innovation Management Software
Fortunately, IT departments can easily gather, develop, and implement innovative solutions to the various challenges they face using innovation management software.
But what is innovation management, and what is innovation management software? Innovation management is about identifying the right strategic approach for your innovation program, and establishing a process that engages and leverages the right audiences and data points to generate effective solutions.
Innovation management software refers to various tools that help organizations to conduct every aspect of innovation management: from trend management and technology scouting to idea management, continuous improvement, and innovation portfolio management. You can learn more about each of these activities here.
It covers the process from end to end. Businesses can crowdsource ideas and solutions, evaluate them, then implement the best ones and track their performance.
In this article we’ll provide nine examples of challenges facing IT departments today and how they can be overcome using dedicated software to drive IT Innovation.
IT Innovation: 9 Challenges IT Departments can Solve with Dedicated Innovation Management Software
1. Keeping up-to-date with trends
IT is an industry that is constantly changing, so teams need to ensure they don’t fall behind. The rapid advancement of artificial intelligence through companies such as OpenAI is just one recent example of how the game can change in an instant.
In order to prepare for disruption and understand all the relevant developments taking place around them, IT departments can use trend management software to identify the tech trends that matter to their business and establish a process to integrate those trends into their strategic decisions.
2. Crowdsourcing security threats and solutions
Security threats are emerging and evolving all the time. The shift towards remote working, the Internet of Things, and the increased use of cloud-based services are just a few examples of recent trends that carry new security risks. Using idea management or continuous improvement software, IT departments can launch campaigns asking their audiences to flag possible security risks, and to contribute ideas for solutions to protect against them.
3. Modernizing or replacing legacy infrastructure
Many IT departments spend a significant amount of their time and resources troubleshooting or maintaining legacy systems. This presents a significant challenge as it can hinder the department’s capacity to explore and implement new systems that are better equipped for the future.
Given its importance to future success, global digital transformation spending is forecast to reach $3.4tn in 2026 with a five-year growth rate of 16.3%IDC
Innovation management software can help teams to identify ways to either improve or replace their legacy systems, through an efficient process that makes use of all the available data.
4. Scouting Infrastructure-as-a-Service providers
On-premise data centers are disappearing as businesses are increasingly turning to cloud computing to handle to their digital infrastructure. The global cloud computing market was worth $371bn in 2020, and is predicted to grow by 17.5% by 2025. Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) offers various benefits to IT departments such as cost savings, scalability, and fast deployment. Through technology scouting, teams can identity and compare relevant providers, engage them, and implement new IaaS projects.
5. Transitioning from ‘IT maintenance’ to ‘IT innovation’
A perception endures that IT is there to keep things ticking over rather than to actively seek and implement new ways of doing things. The role of technology today means that IT depts now need to be innovators, and they must therefore keep abreast of the latest developments, consistently ideate around new solutions and technologies, and drive new IT innovations forward. All of this can be done using innovation management software.
6. Integrating AI into your technology stack
As we’ve seen, artificial intelligence has come on leaps and bounds recently and enterprise businesses are still in the process of understanding all of the possibilities that advanced AI presents to them. Idea management software allows companies to crowdsource ideas about how best to leverage this technology from their global employee base, their customers, or any other audience.
If you add technology scouting software to the mix to identify, engage, and management relationships with relevant AI technology vendors, IT departments can begin to capitalize on the colossal potential of artificial intelligence.
7. Improving communication
IT drives every aspect of the business and so seamless communication with each of the teams and departments that depend on IT services is highly important to the healthy operation of any organization.
The benefit of using continuous improvement software to identify improvements to communication processes is that IT teams can bring the entire company into the conversation and glean insights from every single employee to improve the way they work together.
8. Minimizing response times
It’s highly common for IT departments at enterprise companies to run helpdesks allowing employees from across the organizations to raise tickets about IT issues as and when they arise.
For the IT departments that do manage these helpdesks, an ongoing challenge for them is to ensure that the speed and quality of service is maintained at an acceptable level. Continuous improvement software is the ideal tool to use to reach out to employees, from inside and outside the IT department, to crowdsource improvements for service delivery and to implement them.
9. Leveraging stranded capacity
Another problem for IT departments is stranded capacity, which occurs whenever resources are underused and lead to inefficiencies in costs and resource allocation. As well as identifying these instances of stranded capacity, IT teams can run challenges to crowdsource solutions to these issues to ensure the organization’s IT infrastructure is as efficient as possible and costs are minimized.
The Importance of IT Departments Using Innovation Management Software
IT departments have all the right ingredients to deliver outstanding results through innovation management. Team members are all ‘digitally savvy’ and are often highly technically gifted. IT professionals often possess strong problem-solving skills too, which can be an invaluable asset when running idea campaigns for the company. Innovation efforts should not be siloed inside one department and the IT team is a fantastic resource to engage whatever the business challenge.
The nine examples covered above are just a tiny fraction of the challenges and opportunities presented to modern IT departments that can be unlocked by innovation management software by using it to identify, manage, and implement high quality ideas and solutions.
The pace of change in IT innovation and in the technological and business landscapes in general mean that new challenges and new opportunities are inevitably going to emerge thick and fast in future. This means that it is fundamentally important to IT departments at enterprise level organizations that they develop effective processes to capture trends, scout for startups and technologies, and involve as many brains as possible as they crowdsource ideas.
Head to our product pages to explore how Qmarket’s suite of innovation management tools can help your IT department to ensure it delivers the best possible service to your business and takes advantage of every possible resource inside and outside the organization.
Charlie is an innovation strategist at Qmarkets. He started his innovation journey at a boutique consultancy in London, where he worked with some of the world’s leading retail and CPG brands. In his spare time, he’s a voracious reader of crime fiction and an avid supporter of Arsenal FC.