Agility and scalability are the keys to successful enterprise IT in 2023
Enterprise IT is a true challenge in 2023. CTOs and their teams are continually being asked to do more with less, and it feels like being in such teams is a thankless role at times.
They are tasked with ensuring digital transformation programmes remain on course, maintaining robust cybersecurity, reducing technical debt, increasing ROI, continuing cloud migration and managing ongoing shifts to hybrid working.
The demands are vast but are also constantly changing, and at the same time, budgets are under pressure in a way they haven't been in many years. Enterprise IT is more challenging than ever, but a more agile and scalable approach can help ensure that leadership roles are not impossible.
Enterprise IT in 2023
We conducted research with CTOs in Q4 2022 – the State of European Dev Ecosystem 2022 – and it revealed that almost half of respondents saw future-proofing the organisation as their main remit for 2023. One-quarter admitted that obsolete legacy systems plagued their organisation, and 26% said they spent too much time firefighting to focus on strategic technology objectives.
They are familiar challenges to anyone working in enterprise IT and bring with them a whole host of associated challenges. How do you plan for the future and turn IT into a strategic competitive advantage when you have multiple, competing priorities, you are constantly firefighting, and you are constrained by the legacy systems you inherited? How do you overcome the burden of legacy systems when the budgets aren't available to simultaneously support them whilst modernising and rebuilding them? How do you keep your core team engaged, motivated, and avoiding burnout while juggling all this?
A lack of tech talent
All of this is taking place against a backdrop in which tech talent is still scarcer now than it has ever been. Our research also revealed that CTOs believed insufficient budget and resources were two of the biggest reasons for a technology project not getting off the ground.
28% said they had seen development projects fail in the past 12 months due to a lack of resources, while more than one in five said they lacked the internal skills and expertise to manage all their development projects. Enterprise IT leaders are trying to address this in order to keep projects on track in 2023 and beyond.
There is a shift happening in how enterprises approach digital transformation projects, for example. Having spent the last few years continuously starting new projects, while the cost of borrowing was low and the drive for digital transformation had dramatically increased as a result of covid, enterprises are now shifting their focus to consolidating and delivering ROI from projects already underway, in line with the macro focus on profitability.
However, the challenge remains - how to successfully structure Enterprise IT teams to cope with the demands and ensure there is flexibility in both capacity and the skills available.
Augmenting the team
Hiring can be expensive, and there is a delicate balance to be struck when expanding. Whether it's using external teams to deliver standalone non-core projects or to support, maintain and improve legacy systems while the core team builds out the new, that core team needs to be motivated and feel like it is doing valuable and interesting work that is fun and engaging.
Using an augmented team, with in-house developers working in conjunction with external teams, is an approach that can help. It means enterprises can benefit from the most up-to-date skills without the need to maintain such capabilities in their own employees. Such teams are also enterprise-ready in how they work, so they can be deployed whenever they are needed.
Looking outside the organisation for support and resources makes it easier for enterprise tech leaders to look after their in-house teams. Motivation is invariably higher when teams aren't over-stretched, underpaid and asked to work on projects for which they haven't been fully trained.
More than ever in 2023, enterprises need to address the risk of demand vs resources effectively. You can't stop digital transformation - an ongoing and iterative process – and the demands on tech teams will not disappear. It's a question, therefore, of looking at ways to remove the burden and headache of finding and managing external tech talent.
Finding the right talent to power digital transformation programmes is a true challenge. Leaders are forced into choosing certain skill sets at certain times, which is rarely an effective approach. What's required is a more agile and scalable solution, a way of plugging any gaps, keeping core teams motivated and ensuring projects stay on track.