As the world becomes increasingly digital, it’s no surprise that IT departments everywhere are also changing. Now more than ever, we need to be able to adapt quickly to a rapidly evolving digital transformation landscape and deliver services in ways that are efficient, secure, and cost-effective.
But how do you ensure that you’re digitizing the right IT processes in the right way?
Keep reading for a 5-step framework for successfully and strategically digitizing IT processes.
1. Work Backwards: List Your Outcomes
The first step to digitizing your IT processes is to identify clear outcomes. These are what you’re hoping digitization will help you achieve on a practical, measurable scale. Of course, digitizing IT processes is meant to help boost efficiency and revenue, but your objectives should be more attainable.
For example, if you’re looking to digitize your HR process, a clear and measurable goal could be to complete the onboarding process a certain percentage faster or see an 80% faster document turnaround.
It's also important not to limit yourself by thinking about only one outcome at a time—you may find that achieving one outcome leads directly to another objective that you hadn't considered. So when it comes to listing your desired outcome, keeping an open mind while remaining realistic is the first step toward success.
2. Define Your IT Processes
A well-defined IT process should be clear and simple. It should also be:
- Repeatable: Repeatable and clear processes lead to saved time and increased productivity.
- Measurable: Like with our HR example, your IT processes should all have measurable KPIs and accessible data.
- Automated: IT automation is a major part of digitizing IT processes. Reduce manual labor, and save your team time.
- Visible: Processes and their results should be transparent so that all relevant parties know what’s going on, every step of the way. This is especially important to avoid, or identify, any arising issues.
- Accessible: Those who need it should have easy access to digital processes in case they require adjusting or updating.
- Secure: The digital world is especially vulnerable to risk, so using risk management best practices and maintaining secure processes is crucial.
- Compliant: Most industries have compliance standards and regulations. Make sure the IT processes you want to implement abide by compliance rules.
3. Map the Architecture
The third step is likely the most complicated and time-consuming, but it will ensure you’re digitizing the right processes. This step involves mapping out all of the system’s processes and functionality, starting with defining each individual process on a separate diagram and then combining them into an overall architecture:
- Define the Process Steps
The first step in mapping your overall IT architecture is to define all of your company’s processes and each of their stages (such as the sales cycle). Do this in any way that works best for you—write them down, draw them on paper, or use software.
The important thing is that you map out every single step involved in your current business process so that when it's time to develop new systems through digitization and automation, later on, there won't be any gaps in coverage.
- Define How Each Process Is Flowing Between Different Stages And Participants
After all the steps have been defined, it's time for some more detailed analysis. By visually mapping out processes and how each steps leads to the next, participants can clearly understand the functionalities of each component of the process architecture.
4. Identify Opportunities
This step is designed to ensure you have a solid understanding of the current state of your IT. This allows you to identify gaps in service delivery, as well as opportunities for improvement.
The process involves taking an inventory of all your IT processes and products and mapping them with their corresponding business processes to determine areas where improvement is needed. Once you have identified these, it's important to understand what goals they support and how they contribute to the business strategy.
A gap in service delivery occurs when product or service delay errors are caused due to system or process issues (e.g., inefficient operating procedures).t There’s usually an opportunity to close that service delivery gap and reduce costs by improving processes or creating new ones.
5. Choose Your Technology
The final step in this digitizing framework is to select a technology that can help you achieve your goals. It’s important to choose a tool that will be compatible with your existing business processes, so make sure you do your homework before making a decision. Low code/no code solutions have gained popularity in this arena because they don’t require expert coders to use, making it easier to apply to your current tech stack.
Keep in mind that it's best not to overcomplicate things by trying out too many tools at once. The goal should be to digitize one or two processes and then expand upon those successes as time goes by.
With this essential 5-step framework, you can think about your IT processes more holistically and achieve better outcomes for your business.
If you’re interested in digitizing your IT processes with best-in-class low code/no code ITSM software, sign up to try DeskDirector.