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Post-Pandemic Outlook: IT’s role to be even greater in the next five years

Retaining key tech talent will be crucial in such an environment

Post-Pandemic Outlook: IT’s role to be even greater in the next five years
Shailesh Davey, co-founder and vice-president of engineering at Zoho

The pandemic has been the most significant driver of digitalisation for most businesses, globally and in India. In short, ‘digitise to survive’ has been the motto for most organisations, public or private, small or big. But, what’s the new role of IT in the post-pandemic world? What are the top concerns of CIOs going forward? Is there a significant rise in demand for IT specialists?

A recent study undertaken by ManageEngine, the enterprise IT management division of Zoho Corporation, emphasises that the IT department’s role is wide-reaching, varied and crucial to an organisation’s success, either centrally or in support of other departments within an organisation. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are already used extensively across the business, but more training is needed for their use to be maximised outside of the IT department.

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Plainspeak, IT teams that were already stretched thin prior to the pandemic will now be faced with an increased support burden, a wider threatscape, and less visibility into more networks. “IT’s role is set to be even greater in the next five years,” Shailesh Davey, co-founder and vice-president of engineering at Zoho, told FE in an interaction.

The IT at Work: 2022 and Beyond study surveyed 3,300 decision-makers across IT and other key business functions in organisations across 18 countries, including India. It examined the post-lockdown democratisation and empowerment of IT functions across organisations, the adoption of relevant IT skills across departments, among other things. Interestingly, the study observed a notable rise in IT knowledge amongst non-IT employees.

“Our primary aim with this study was to shed light on the current state of IT decision makers (ITDMs) and the need for IT democratisation and empowerment for a well-knit organisation today,” said Davey. In his opinion, a successful hybrid work culture demands collaboration between IT and non-IT teams. “Implementing a flexible or remote work culture has become a new norm for organisations. This requires smooth collaboration between IT and non-IT departments,” he stressed.

As per the report, 91% of business and technology leaders in India agree that collaboration between IT and other lines of business has increased in the past two years, while 53% of Indian organisations have successfully decentralised their IT structures  (see chart for more findings).

Davey is confident that IT will have a greater position to set strategies for the organisation as a whole. “IT will need to support other departments so that they can be proactive and innovative. At the same time, organisations will need to work hard to retain their tech talent.”

With IT playing such a pivotal role, organisations must be careful not to push their IT talent away.

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KEY INDIA FINDINGS

91% of decision makers report increased collaboration between IT and non-IT teams

53% of Indian organisations have successfully decentralised their IT structures

68% of non-IT staff are more knowledgeable about IT than they were before 2020

91% feel AI and ML are crucial to strengthening IT security frameworks

53% of IT decision makers are actively looking for a new job

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First published on: 06-12-2022 at 05:00 IST