How is the role of IT currently being perceived in companies and how will it change in the future? The management consulting company Horváth & Partners explored these questions in a recent study. The results show that for many decision-makers, IT departments don't respond fast enough to new requirements or fail to supply innovative solutions. This trend is confirmed by the figures from the Horváth Human Resources Barometer in Switzerland. Although many traditional IT roles – such as System Administrator – continue to be advertised, specialized roles – such as Software Developer – are declining.
T is undergoing rapid change: digitization, robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), and the necessity for greater flexibility and speed impact IT roles in companies. This requires IT to develop from a clearly-structured and cost-efficient service provider to an integral driver of digital transformation. That is why 96% of the interviewed decision-makers agree that the importance of IT in the overall organization will increase significantly during the next 3 years. However, in 77% of companies, IT is being perceived as a purely technological function. In order to change this perception, IT departments will have to continue to grow with specialists so that they can flexibly respond to the demands of specialized fields. Currently, only 10% of the interviewees believe that IT divisions are prepared for this. And only 6% state that the IT sector is proactive in developing innovations for specialized fields. This view is also confirmed by the Horváth Human Resources Barometer in Switzerland. Instead of filling innovative developer roles, more support roles are currently being advertised. The study consists of an in-depth analysis of the financial, manufacturing, and chemical/pharmaceutical industries, which are all representative of this trend:
Change in advertised IT roles in the financial industries compared with the preceding month (October/November)
Change in advertised IT roles in the manufacturing industries compared with the preceding month (October/November)
Change in advertised IT roles in the pharmaceuticals and chemical industries compared with the preceding month (October/November)
“The results show that for many decision-makers, the IT sector doesn't respond quickly enough to new requirements or fails to supply innovative solutions. IT is often viewed as being non-adaptive, i.e. IT departments, which are not able to differentiate and adapt to a given situation, and is therefore not considered a customer-orientated service organization,” according to Ingo Rasch, expert from the IT consultancy at Horváth & Partners in Switzerland.
An adaptive approach to organizational and technological factors is required to achieve a fit-for-the-future IT strategy. IT departments should know the context and processes in their companies and develop innovative IT solutions. This will advance the automation of business processes and generally make them more agile. If an IT department can fulfill these requirements, it will be able to meet the growing demands on its role in the company in the future and will also be able to ensure cost-efficient stability.
About the study:
Around 190 decision-makers in companies across Germany, Austria and Switzerland were surveyed online between April and May 2018 as part of the Horváth & Partners cross-industry study “Adaptive IT – IT organizations in a changing world”. The goal of the study was to investigate the current perception and future role of IT organizations in companies.