Top 6 IT Department Challenges and How to Overcome Them 

IT teams are in crisis mode. Yes, everyone is feeling the pressure, with day-to-day challenges such as rising costs and limited resources impacting every department. But IT teams are feeling the pressure more than most thanks to an increased demand on technical teams as businesses look to improve their operational efficiency.

Our recent survey of over 300 technical leaders at large organizations as part of Bizagi’s report, State of Low Code Process Automation, revealed organizational challenges across a range of sectors, and how they are leveraging process automation solutions to meet these challenges, push organizational initiatives forward and ultimately outpace their competition.

Unsurprisingly, the top six challenges for IT teams over the past year reflect current events. Technology decision-makers' top 2022 challenges primarily centered around curtailing costs, limited resources, and keeping up with increased demands.


Challenge 1: Rising costs/cost optimization (39%)  

It’s more important than ever for technical leaders to drive spending and cost reduction while maximizing business value. But rising costs, of both talent and technology has made this increasingly harder, making this the leading challenge for IT departments.

Global inflation has likely affected all aspects of your budget. Talent is no exception. Not only do you need to pay top dollar for qualified and diligent IT staff with the expertise to make your business excel, but once you’ve found them, you need to keep them. Talent retention is an issue, not only as organizations compete to secure the best workers, but as employees themselves look to prioritize work/life balance following the pandemic.

Additionally, the technology that your team is using, both hardware and software, has become more expensive. Soaring energy costs means that just keeping the lights on and running systems in the cloud has become pricey. Yes, IT departments may be receiving bigger budgets, but they are also incurring more costs.


Challenge 2: Keeping pace with ongoing digital transformation needs (37%)  

The pandemic increased the pace of digital transformation, which has left many organizations struggling to keep up with the changing needs of the market. The digital boon of recent years means customer and employee expectations are higher than ever. Everyone wants everything now, in a user-friendly format.

So, IT are challenged to not only keep up with the demand, but create market-leading iterations. The pressure is on to offer improved user experience and use data to deliver intuitive, and innovative products at speed.


Challenge 3: Limited IT availability/resources (35%)  

Even if you can find talent to fill the technology skills gap, your IT team will likely still have limited availability. IT departments often find themselves spread too thin; fighting fires or providing technical support when their time would be better spent creating innovative solutions for the business.

Self-serve and citizen developer solutions are becoming more popular, but may still see the IT team as a crutch or a fix-all solution to problems that actually have a simple solution.


Challenge 4: Spending more time on maintenance/governance as opposed to innovation (35%)  

Maintenance and governance are a massive time sink for IT teams. While rising to the aforementioned challenge of keeping pace with transformation needs, they also need to maintain the systems that are already in place. From administering software patches and updates, to generally overseeing technical projects that are already in flight.

There’s also the issue of technical debt when short-term solutions have been put in place as a band aid solution for a bullet wound problem. These problems only happen because the team are time-poor, so need to find the fastest (not necessarily the best) solution. This ultimately creates a perpetual cycle of quick fixes that need repairing time and time again.


Challenge 5: Recruiting qualified IT employees (33%)  

It’s no secret that there’s a shortage of tech talent. Qualified IT employees are hard to come by, so it’s hard to fill teams. This in turn exacerbates the other challenges on this list and generally makes it harder for the IT department to provide solutions to support the wider organization.

Gartner’s 2022 global report found that talent shortage was the most significant barrier to the adoption of 64% of emerging technologies. Comparatively, it was only 4% in 2020: a significant increase.


Challenge 6: The IT backlog is too big (32%)  

Even having a talented, well-equipped IT team is not enough. It’s likely that multiple departments in your organization are fighting for IT’s attention, leaving a seemingly never-ending to-do list in their wake.

An IT backlog is inevitable, from application enhancements to starting entirely new projects, and planned IT projects often go back as far as a year. It’s important to strike a balance between keeping up with both internal and external demands to remain competitive, while effectively managing technical debt so the team don’t end up needing to revisit these requests again at a later date.


How to overcome these challenges 

Decision-makers are well aware of these common pain points, but what’s less apparent is how to solve them. By focusing on IT investment, efficiency, and productivity, decision-makers will not only limit repercussions but outmanoeuvre competitors in the years to come.  

- Create a positive culture to attract and retain talent  

Deter your employees from jumping ship by making your IT department, and your organization as a whole, a great place to be. Work with your HR team to maintain a positive culture and check in with your team regularly to check that they feel happy, motivated, and supported. It’s important to recognise and reward progress and innovation, and you’ll in turn be rewarded with a loyal, hard-working team that make a difference in the organization.

- Automate to reduce strain on IT resources and lower costs  

Do more with less. Many organizations are turning to process automation to achieve organizational goals more quickly, efficiently, and cost-effectively than they could manually. It also takes the pressure off IT, as automated solutions essentially look after themselves once they have been established. Read more about the benefits of low-code automation in our blog.

- Review your tech stack to meet requirements across the business  

Check to see if there are any crossovers in capabilities in your tech stack that can meet requirements across the business. Departments often have a siloed appraoch to solutions. An overview of applications and products can help you determine if you’re doubling up on anything and if you are, you can save effort and money.

- Enable citizen developers to create their own solutions 

Business users can create their own solutions for their requirements rather waiting for IT to have capacity. Low-code process automation platforms equip citizen developers with advanced technologies within an intuitive user experience, so even employees without advanced IT capabilities can analyze, design, and automate end-to-end business processes. Find out more about how to enable and support citizen developers in our blog.

- Create more self-serve solutions for common queries and issues  

Help business users to help themselves with process automation solutions. Many manual and repetitive IT services can be automated or made accessible for non-IT teams so they don’t have to wait for solutions, increasing productivity for both IT and the business.


Find out more about how IT departments are rising to challenges and using automated processes to power success in our report, State of Low-Code Process Automation.