The Future of Work, Enabled by the Democratization of IT
April 11, 2022

Rajesh Ganesan
ManageEngine

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After the pandemic caused remote work to become the norm for many organizations, IT personnel were propelled onto the front lines. The businesses that survived — and, in many cases, thrived — were able to do so because of their IT departments. As organizations slowly begin to emerge from the pandemic, it's an apt time to take an assessment of the future of work.

The future of work will be led by democratized IT, whereby employees work in a distributed, asynchronous manner, accessing the requisite tools wherever and whenever they need. Enabled by the democratization of IT, this work will be (1) self-organizing, (2) high velocity, and (3) digitally dexterous. Let's discuss each of these attributes in turn.

1. Self-Organizing Work

Historically, organizations adhered to traditional organizational charts and formal hierarchies. Generally speaking, employees worked onsite, were assigned to a team, and were given a well-defined scope of work. Things really have changed. Now, hybrid and remote workers organize themselves and expand the scope of their own work, often without centralized oversight. As a quick example, a team working remotely may not have a dedicated human resources representative, so a team member may take the reins, supplementing his or her core tasks with the requisite HR duties.

2. High Velocity Work

No longer do employees have to concern themselves with long commute times; nor do they have to follow strict 9am - 5pm schedules or act busy when their bosses approach. Given the nature of hybrid and remote work, work times and location are increasingly irrelevant; now, outcomes and deliverables rule the day.

Seeing as employees can work wherever and whenever they want, they will most often choose the unique times and places that allow them to complete their tasks most efficiently. Liberated from arbitrary work confines that would otherwise slow them down, employees now operate at accelerated speeds. Moreover, and perhaps best of all, not only does their work get completed faster, but employees also have more time to pursue hobbies and interests outside of work as well.

3. Digitally Dexterous Work

Most hybrid workers are doing remote-first, and digitally dexterous, work. Moving forward, IT personnel will need to continue to provide employees with frictionless security and decentralized technologies that allow employees to work from different devices, times, and locations.

We are already seeing this highly digital landscape thrive, and workforces will only become more digitally dexterous in the future — especially as the general population grows more tech-savvy and younger demographics enter the workforce. We've seen that workers are becoming increasingly comfortable with AI, chatbots, and other technologies that automate routine processes.

The Democratization of IT

IT personnel are vital to every company's success, and they lead organization-wide transformations. Moreover, the future of work is enabled by the democratization of IT. That said, exactly what is meant by the democratization of IT?

Essentially, it means that IT personnel are cross-functional, as they handle security, operations, and desktop support, among other disciplines. Additionally, IT processes intermix with traditional business processes, enabling automated workflows that span across departments. Also, using analytics, IT personnel work to monitor and foster the overall experiences of customers and employees.

Democratized IT describes IT personnel who embrace this new decentralized, remote, and frequently autonomous nature of work, while simultaneously keeping their corporate networks safe. It is not hyperbole to say that the future of work is dependent upon the democratization of IT. And, for the foreseeable future, work will continue to be self-organizing, high velocity, and digitally dexterous.

Rajesh Ganesan is President of ManageEngine
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