ITThe digital transformation agenda is driving IT and the business to collaborate on new projects to enhance customer experience and improve operational processes, according to new research from Robert Half Technology. The majority (79%) of IT directors say that the number of business projects involving the IT department has risen either somewhat (64%) or significantly (15%) compared with five years ago.

Only 2% of IT directors surveyed said that the number of projects their teams were involved with had decreased and the remainder (19%) said there had been no change. This rises to 24% for large companies, suggesting that the involvement of IT in business projects has been underway for longer than for small (15%) and medium-sized (18%) companies, which may not have the same level of IT resource at their disposal.

The need to compete with new entrants, secure customer loyalty and meet regulatory demands has put pressure on organisations to digitise customer facing and operational processes. Of those IT directors who had seen an increase in the number of business initiatives involving the technology department, almost half (47%) said that they had introduced projects to digitally enhance selling and to enhance customer services.

digital-marketing-1433427_960_720A similar number (44%) of IT directors said they had introduced data analytics to improve performance management, while 42% said they had projects in place to digitise operational processes and just over a third (37%) were introducing digital enhancements to the extended workplace to enable staff to work any place, any time.

Just over a quarter (28%) said they were applying data analytics to better understand customer behaviour and 13% were transitioning from a physical to a digital marketplace.

According to Robert Half’s 2017 Salary Guide, remuneration levels for hard to find IT professionals are predicted to rise at double the average rate of 2.1% for roles such as developer (4.5%), mobile application developer (4.3%) and junior developer (4.2%) in the next 12 months.

Neil Owen, Director, Robert Half Technology, commented: “The partnership between business transformation projects and the IT department continues as technology has become an integral part of doing business in today’s world. With increased investment into new technology platforms that support key business outcomes, organisations are trying to manage how these services come together to achieve a maximum return.

“The need for agile development and DevOps to support this trend means that IT professionals with strong communication and collaboration skills as well as technical experience and knowledge are in increasing demand. We are seeing a strong demand for professionals with skills in agile project management methodologies, business intelligence expertise and applications support.”