World Bank senior IT manager Michael Makar says IT staff are increasingly seeing new bottlenecks as their companies undergo digital transformation. He offered his tips for overcoming digital transformation challenges, and explained how IT managers can do so while keeping their own careers on a positive trajectory.
ITPro Today: What are some of the problems you’re seeing in how organizations keep up with technology?
Makar: Organizations today are facing a new wave of challenges brought on by the fast-paced advancement of today’s technology. The best customer experiences are available to consumers through the use of apps and websites, but it also means a whole new level of complexities for what IT teams are expected to deliver.
New data from [IT analytics firm] AppDynamics found that only 22 percent of technologists are optimistic that their organization is ready for the rapid pace of technological change.
ITPro Today: Any tips on how you can overcome those obstacles?
Makar: The challenges facing today’s IT leaders also mean that there’s a huge opportunity for them.
Start by taking risks. Some people may be hesitant, because they don't want to look bad in front of management. Overcoming this and getting management buy-in takes a lot of courage and conviction, but it allows you to take the lead in managing the most efficient and effective tools and technologies to move your business forward.
ITPro Today: What current skills do you think are most necessary from IT staff who are charged with digital transformation?
It’s important to have a vision of where you want to go and the leadership ability to get people behind you. It's one thing to be able to execute, but it's another to sell it internally to a variety of stakeholders so you can ensure your IT transformation is successful.
Being able to communicate and articulate in front of people helps build trust, and when people believe in you, you can empower them to get excited to work on these transformational projects.
ITPro Today: What’s your take on incorporating AI in the near future to handle routine tasks?
I’m a huge fan of automation, and I look for opportunities to automate routine tasks constantly. I think we will certainly see AI play a key role, as well.
ITPro Today: Any concerns about AI and security?
I think we’ll have to watch it closely to ensure that, as AI programs learn, they don’t compromise security or start to work in ways outside of their original intention. If you look at the world of monitoring, the future will definitely include tools that can identify issues and automatically configure monitoring and alerting without manual intervention.
ITPro Today: How do you go about dealing with uncertainty so an organization can succeed in overcoming digital transformation challenges?
Digital transformation requires a shift in mindset and new skills that weren’t needed before. The unfortunate reality is that many IT departments currently struggle with developing the characteristics and skills leaders need to make their transformational ambitions successful.
The best way an organization can double down on making their business transformation a success is by focusing and growing organizational qualities like culture, leadership, tools and training that will then empower technologists at all levels to execute and lead those transformational innovations forward.
ITPro Today: What sort of shifts do you see internally, in terms of budget spend for organizations going through digital transformation?
We are already seeing a shift to DevOps and operations teams slowly being broken apart to focus on automation and developer productivity. In the future, legacy systems will also need to be addressed and modernized to keep up with business demands. This will be a big win for organizations, because they’ll be able to do more with less budget, and focus on key areas to deliver innovations that will make their businesses more competitive.