2020 is still ramping up, but many New Year's resolutions are already ramping down. Unlike the fad diets and gym memberships that will be long forgotten by February, your business resolutions are worth keeping — and communicating. After all, the goals and objectives of IT department decision-makers affect everyone in your organization.
As businesses continue down the path toward digital transformation, they're relying on IT leaders to clear the way — to set a vision and build the infrastructure needed for success. And as executives across departments set their own business resolutions for the new year, they need to know what tech tools they'll have at their disposal and how to best use them, which means the C-suite also needs to understand the goals and objectives of IT department leaders.
As one of those leaders, what areas should you be concerned about improving in the new year? What challenges do you need to overcome as you set goals for IT teams in 2020? What goals will help you keep up with the evolving market and set your company up for success?
1. Complete Your Cloud Migration and Integration
Chances are, you've already begun your cloud migration. According to RightScale's eighth annual State of the Cloud report, 94% percent of enterprises now use at least one public or private cloud. The survey found that 91% of organizations are adopting public cloud, while 72% are using private clouds, and 84% of enterprises have a multi-cloud strategy with an average of almost five clouds.
Perhaps you're already using some cloud services as well. After all, it was a top budget priority in 2019 for IT leaders. Yet, even if your cloud migration is well underway, your digital transformation is not complete until everything is integrated.
Cloud migration without successful integration is like buying a house and moving in, but not unpacking your boxes. To get the most out of your new cloud home, you need to be able to break down silos, apply advanced analytics, automate workflows, and enable next-gen technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning, and that all starts with smart integration.
If you're piecing together different technologies for voice, messaging, and video conferencing, you're paying multiple vendors for each of these services, whereas you could be using a unified communications-as-a-service (UCaaS) solution that combines all three.
2. Optimize Cloud Costs
As the XaaS (everything as a service) trend continues to grow, leaders across organizations are clamoring for more cloud solutions, and not all IT budgets are growing fast enough to accommodate the additional spend. That's why "optimizing existing cloud use for cost savings" is the top cloud initiative for 64% of IT leaders in 2019, up from 58% in 2018, according to RightScale.
The report also found that cloud users underestimate how much cloud spend they waste, that most companies have not implemented policies to optimize cloud spend, and that they're not taking full advantage of discounts that many vendors offer.
As you set 2020 goals and objectives for IT department teams, now is a great time to talk to your providers about discounts and whether it's possible to automate cost savings — for example, by shutting down unused workloads or rightsizing instances.
3. Clean Up Your Communications Technology Stack
Another way to reduce cloud spend is to eliminate redundant solutions, particularly in your communications stack. If you're piecing together different technologies for voice, messaging, and video conferencing, you're paying multiple vendors for each of these services, whereas you could be using a unified communications-as-a-service (UCaaS) solution that combines all three (and their data), provides additional functionality, and seamlessly integrates with your CRM and productivity tools.
If you're already using UCaaS for enterprise communications, is your contact center team using an entirely different solution to communicate with customers? If so, you have more data silos to worry about, more integrations to do and maintain, and an additional bill to pay.
That's why Vonage created its contact center solution, which combines UCaaS with contact center as a service (CCaaS). This way, office employees and customer-facing employees all use the same platform with the same customer data, and you only have one line-item expenditure on the budget.
4. Mobilize Your Team
Mobile technology and app development are also top budget priorities for many organizations, according to TechRepublic Premium's 2019 survey. That trend will likely grow in 2020, as 5G picks up speed, IoT continues to evolve, and edge computing becomes an increasingly hot trend.
That begs the question, where are you with mobile optimization? Can your teams do everything they need to do on a mobile device? Can they seamlessly communicate with each other and with customers across channels without using personal phone numbers and accounts? Can they access all the information they need, receive automated notifications from key business systems, and get alerts from IoT-enabled machines and legacy technologies? If not, consider what you can do this year to empower your 21st-century mobile workforce.
Moving Beyond New Year's Resolutions
Maybe your cloud migration is already complete, your cloud services are integrated and optimized for cost, your technology stack is best-in-class, and your team can already do everything from a smartphone that they can from a computer. If you're like most IT leaders, however, you still have progress to make toward digital transformation.
The good news is that, as motivational speaker Zig Ziglar once put it, "a goal properly set is halfway reached." Keep that in mind as you set the goals and objectives of IT department teams for 2020. If your goals are achievable and your plan is clear, you're already halfway done making this new year the most successful one yet.