Welcome to the 21st Century where everyone is using or should be using data to make informed decisions. So there are organisations that still fully rely on the Information Technology Department for everything computer related. All other departments still have an ‘its got nothing to do with us’ type attitude. Digital transformation requires that you bury that attitude six feet under.
Traditionally the IT Department dealt with everything related to computers: Internet, email, website, servers, LANS, softwares, hardware maintenance and repair… These tasks are still for the IT department obviously but the scenario we have seen repeated over and over is that IT is not only tasked with building, maintaining and improving the ‘infrastructure’ but using it as well. Even responding to a customer on Facebook is left for the geniuses up at IT to handle.
In this digital era IT is the back end that deals with the technical side of a business while electronic media and web design is now more customer oriented and requires skills and knowledge of the actual platforms and how best to leverage them. For example who manages the social platforms you have in your organization ? Surely you do not expect the geeks in IT to respond to a customer complaining about your service or product. I am not saying they are not able but dealing with customer queries requires Public Relations. So if you think throwing social media to the IT department to sort out is best you may want to think again .
The demands of digital platforms are beyond what the IT department does. In case you have not noticed , jobs are migrating from the hard core skills to the soft skills and the IT department is expanding and evolving too . Businesses are recognizing, and have more focus than ever, on improving operational efficiencies and business processes with a major focus on the customer , where they are found and if they are getting the best service or product.
Yes all this may be happening on tech platforms but it is not for techies to do.
Why the rant?
As Techzim we have consulted on digital communication and marketing for a few businesses and we have noticed that often the business leadership asks us to have this conversation with the IT department. It looks like in general, the rule is if it uses a computer then it’s for IT.
Nothing could be further from the truth (I exaggerate). It’s important that as professionals we realise that computer systems are just tools. Our job is not exported to the IT department just because we are now relying on digital tools. We all need to study how to leverage the connectivity that our customers enjoy in this modern world. We all need to step up!