What Is IT’s Role in Your Organization’s Innovation Plans?

One of the basic principles of any organization applies to utilizing your IT department: Listen, listen, listen.                                                     

Carter Liebscher|
May 21, 2020

Spoiler: Your IT department plays a foundational role in driving innovation in your organization, no matter which industry you’re in.

Organizations are increasingly investing more time and resources in new tech, as both employees and consumers are increasingly expecting fully digital experiences.

Your organization undoubtedly has an IT department and infrastructure in place, ensuring that all of the tech you’ve invested in, from simple to complex pieces, run smoothly and ultimately serve your company’s mission.

However, when you expect your people in IT to solely concern themselves with existing infrastructure, you’re limiting their potential and your organization’s innovative potential. In other words, a business strategy that excludes IT is just as short-sighted as excluding employees in on decisions that directly affect them.

By allowing your IT department to lead the way on technological innovation, your organization will witness a wave of innovative thinking, from management to your frontline employees. The most innovative companies have already recognized this, with over 62% of high-growth companies invest in technology in order to grow their innovative potential.

Read below some of the ways you can strategize with IT leadership to grow your organization’s innovative potential.

Hold regular meetings with IT leaders 

All employees benefit from having some of their working week devoted to learning about the latest news in their specific field and role. The same expectations should be applied to your IT department, especially those in leadership positions.

While department heads have a lot on their plates, allotting time for regular interdepartmental meetings will everyone reorganize and prioritize present needs and future assets. (Especially now, as employees have some more time to meet for virtually.)

Emma de Sousa, UK managing director and marketing VP for Insight, details the gap between companies’ need for technological agility with the development of their IT department:

While we have been talking about the growing need for IT to both manage daily operations and be a strategic partner for transformation, many companies still have a long way to go when it comes to levelling the divide and creating a competitive advantage through innovation.

“IT departments struggle to balance innovation with everyday IT operations,” Sebastian Klovig Skelton, Computer Weekly

Enabling a culture of sharing, as through regular leadership meetings, can keep your organization on an innovative path—whether you’re implementing something concrete or simply planning for the future.

Balancing risk aversion with risk assessment 

Overly optimistic organizations often get a bad rap for pushing for innovation too hard when they’re perhaps not ready, with skeptics highlighting the fact that about 90% of innovations flop when introduced to the market.

We regularly point out that innovations fail when organizations don’t have a Culture of Innovation in place, and that even small failures can pave the way for your next big win. In some ways, successful innovation has to come from a place of risk assessment, not risk aversion.

Try our ROI calculator to see how your organization can benefit from collecting and acting on employee ideas

Recognize your IT professionals’ skills—and listen!

Too many incumbent organizations think they’re well-established enough to brace any storm.

No organization is too big to fail.

Incumbent organizations across all industries are being disrupted by newcomers that listen to and enlist tech pros.

Take for instance the legal industry’s push for technological innovation. Incumbent firms have seen disruption is the form of AI and virtual consultations—pieces of tech that younger but more tech-savvy players have smartly invested in.

Your IT department is comprised of professionals who have years of education and experience. They’re also likely staying on top of the latest happenings in their field. Listen to them.

Don’t stop at your people in IT, though: Open up the lines of communication across all departments, across all roles and titles and responsibilities. Idea management software will help you build a Culture of Innovation, a culture where employees are encouraged to comfortably (and easily) share their invaluable ideas.

Idea management software can transform your company culture into a culture of sharing. Get started with Ideawake today with a free demo to see how!

How is your organization utilizing technology—and your internal technology professionals—to be innovative? Let us know down below!

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