What being product led means for IT teams

When the pandemic shifted countless organizations and teams remote in 2020, the digital workplace became the workplace itself. So it’s no surprise that 74% of Chief Information Officers (CIOs) say that their role has been elevated due to the pandemic. It has made IT even more of a business-critical function as companies rely more on software and digital tools to get things done.  

As the digital workplace continues to evolve, IT faces a slew of challenges related to optimizing it. Software as a service (SaaS) sprawl—the proliferation of apps, many of them duplicative and wasteful—within organizational portfolios is a real and growing problem. A distributed workforce of employees with diverse positions, experiences, and tech wants and needs raises questions about how best to approach onboarding and digital support. And the tech experiences employees enjoy in their lives as consumers have raised the expectations they have for the software they use at work.  

Product-led IT is a business strategy in which IT teams apply product-led principles to IT functions and responsibilities to drive better business outcomes.

Product-led IT teams are taking an approach to meeting these and other challenges that puts the software itself at the center of their strategy. They’re doing this by leveraging the power of a digital adoption solution and the guidance, analytics, and feedback capabilities it provides them. The result is both a better employee experience and a maximized return on investment (ROI) for the digital tools that companies both build and buy for their teams.

The guiding principles of product-led IT teams

They leverage the power of analytics to make better business decisions

Product-led IT teams harness robust analytics to form the strategies and make the decisions that will radically optimize their portfolio. Insights from analytics let them identify areas of wasteful spending on apps—whether they be apps that are underutilized or ones that perform the same functions or serve the same purpose as others the organization is already paying for—helping rein in SaaS sprawl and tech spend. 

Analytics also helps IT teams improve the employee experience for all by providing a window into how best to prioritize support. By letting IT understand the flow of work within and across apps and workflows, they can glean better insights about which areas of the tech portfolio matter most for given individuals and teams, where people may be getting stuck and require extra support, and what to prioritize in their roadmap to better drive software adoption. 

They bring guidance and support to employees when and where it matters most

IT teams that take a product-led approach to onboarding and support understand that, in today’s digital workplace, a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t make sense for a diverse set of employees who have different responsibilities and priorities from one another. Using a digital adoption solution, they tailor onboarding for teams and individuals based on metadata (e.g. an employee’s position or tenure at the company) and behavior (e.g. whether they’re using a given app for the first time). They also deliver support to employees in the place and at the time it matters most: in the app itself (and even across multiple apps), as they’re using it. 

With a product-led approach to onboarding and support, employees no longer have to sit through tedious (and largely irrelevant) in-person onboarding sessions, only to forget relevant information by the time they actually need it. With in-app guidance, the right support is always there, leading to greater adoption of digital tools across the organization. 

They prioritize a great employee experience

With all things digital dominating today’s workplace, how employees experience and engage with software and technology at work increasingly determines how they experience work as a whole. IT thus now plays a greater role than ever in shaping the employee experience. This is no easy task, since employee expectations for their digital experiences at work have never been higher thanks to the easy, intuitive, and convenient digital tools they use in their personal lives as consumers. 

Product-led IT teams have an overarching approach to addressing tech questions: They always try to solve problems and create solutions from a place of empathy with employees. Often, that means soliciting and leveraging employee feedback about a given app, process, or workflow via a digital adoption solution and incorporating that input into improvements. The majority of executives agree: It’s impossible to provide a great customer experience without creating a great employee experience, and happier employees lead to better business outcomes. Particularly during times of economic uncertainty, attracting and retaining top talent should be top of mind for organizations. The workplace tech experiences that IT facilitates are a critical factor in determining whether they can do so successfully.

Digital adoption solutions: The all-in-one toolkit for product-led IT teams

Drive adoption, control software spend, and boost satisfaction—all in one place

Harnessing powerful analytics, providing strong in-app support, and leveraging robust feedback management to drive adoption, optimize tech budgets, and create a better employee experience may seem like disparate tactics requiring different tools to execute effectively. For product-led IT teams, however, driving these and other outcomes all happens in one place using a digital adoption solution

With a digital adoption solution in hand, IT teams can focus on managing their portfolio to empower teams across the organization to use software to its fullest potential. That means higher productivity, strong governance and compliance, and minimal confusion for employees—plus greater value and ROI for the business. With the organizational insights, personalized in-app support, and robust feedback collection the right digital adoption solution provides, IT teams have everything they need to optimize workplace software and, in the process, the organization as a whole. 

Product-led strategies and tactics for IT teams

Check out these articles to learn more strategies and tactics to help your IT organization become more product led: