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5 ways to reduce friction between IT and business users

“Digital transformation starts with people, which is a useful reminder that whenever we talk about data — especially valuable data — there are humans at the end of it.”

Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, Chief Innovation Officer at ManpowerGroup

Digital leaders outperform their competitors across a range of metrics, including revenue, profitability, and market value. This has made digital transformation a top priority for senior executives, with 76% of CEOs investing in automation and 69% looking to leverage new technologies.

But as your organization pushes toward a digital future, it’s important you don’t forget the human aspect of these changes.

Your IT team will be under pressure to implement new systems at pace, while your business users will have to adapt their processes without missing deadlines. In this situation, friction can quickly build, in turn slowing down your digital transformation efforts.

Your data processes play a key role in helping you avoid this scenario. Data can be a spur for better collaboration — but only if you transform your data approach. Here’s how.

5 ways to reduce friction between IT and business users

1. Prioritize data accessibility…

How do your business users access the data they need?

If the answer involves sending an email to your IT team or opening a support ticket, then you’ll be facing delays at every turn. Access requests divert your IT team from their urgent tasks, while leaving your business users waiting around for the data they need. The likely result? Frayed tempers and unnecessary friction.

By enabling self-service data access for your business users, you can transform how your teams work with data. They will be able to get the data they need, when they need it, empowering them to incorporate data into their workflows with ease. In turn, this provides a solid foundation for a data-driven culture in which data sits at the heart of your teams’ decision-making.

Prioritizing data accessibility means business users can work consistently and directly with data, while IT is freed up from time-consuming, repetitive tasks. And that means lower frustration levels all round.

2. …But don’t sacrifice oversight

Of course, improving data accessibility won’t relieve tensions if it leads to security and compliance issues.

With more data in the hands of non-technical teams, you’re more likely to encounter data security issues. And with 88% of breaches caused by human error, your IT team may have to spend significant energy keeping your data safe. But if they’re consistently having to track down and fix data security issues, this can divert them from key tasks and cause friction between teams.

To avoid this, ensure that your IT team remains in control when it comes to data access. This means giving them authority over data validation and publication processes, as well as access management policies. You can achieve this layer of defence through a live data catalog that’s curated by your IT team.

3. Empower business users with the right tools

To extract relevant insights, business users need to be able to manipulate and analyze data. For those without technical expertise, this requires reaching out to your IT team for support.

From your business users’ perspective, this is an unnecessary bottleneck in their workflow. For your IT team, meanwhile, this often means performing the same simple data transformation tasks every week. In both cases, it’s a flashpoint for tension.

To ease these pressures, you should adopt tools that empower non-technical users to work effectively with data. This means enabling them to explore and engage with validated and curated datasets and perform data transformations with ease.

At the same time, these tools should give IT ultimate control over how the data is stored and processed. Less technical users are more likely to make mistakes in handling data, and it’s important this doesn’t introduce errors into your datasets.

4. Automate routine data processes

“Monotony, lack of flow, and a lack of autonomy have all been shown to increase stress and burnout in the workplace.”

Jennifer Moss, workplace expert

How many of your routine data processes are manual?

The higher your answer, the more stressed your staff will be. And with 2 in 5 tech workers at a high risk of burnout, your organization may suffer from flagging productivity and decreased employee engagement — the last thing your digital transformation project needs.

Building automated data pipelines reduces the burden on your IT team by relieving them of their mundane data tasks. You can transfer data from its source to the target application without the need for human intervention. You can also apply automatic quality checks and verification procedures along the way.

This automation doesn’t just benefit your IT team. Your business users will have access to timely and accurate data, making it easier for them to extract valuable insights. And if you can empower your business users to automate some of their own routine processes — generating reports, for instance — the benefits extend even further.

5. Simplify your tech stack

A successful digital transformation isn’t just about finding and buying the latest software. If you adopt multiple different applications and layer them over legacy systems, the chances are you’ll face significant frustrations.

Instead, adopt a smaller number of tools that cover a broader range of features. When it comes to data management, for instance, a data integration platform can tackle a range of challenges, such as:

Making data accessible across your organization
Improving data governance and oversight
Designing and building automated data pipelines
Empowering business users to perform basic data transformations

With just one tool, you can significantly improve your data processes and reduce friction between your IT team and business users.

Transforming your data processes with CloverDX

If your data is difficult to access and hard to use, tension between teams is almost inevitable. Your IT team will find themselves inundated by access requests, while business users struggle to get the support they need.

Improving your data processes can help transform the relationship between IT and business users. With fewer routine requests to deal with, your IT team can focus on their key priorities. And with easier access to the data they need, your business users can concentrate on turning data into valuable insights.

If you’d like to turn your data into a driver of business value, rather than a source of strife, let us give you an overview of our data integration platform. For an in-depth tour of the key features, book a demo today.

Read MoreCloverDX Blog on Data Integration

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