TORONTO, May 9, 2023 /PRNewswire/ – With online and hybrid work continuing to be the norm, digital accessibility has become increasingly important for businesses. It has become crucial to ensure that all digital assets, products, and services are accessible to everyone, making the cost of inaction high. However, the constantly evolving legal landscape can complicate matters, as laws mandating digital accessibility vary by location. To help IT leaders overcome challenges and implement digital accessibility quickly, IT research and advisory firm Info-Tech Research Group has published a new blueprint, The Accessibility Business Case for IT.
“Accessibility is important for individuals, businesses, and society. Diverse populations need diverse access, and it’s essential to provide access and opportunity to everyone, including people with diverse abilities,” says Heather Leier-Murray, senior research analyst at Info-Tech Research Group. “In fact, access to information and communications technologies (ICT) is a basic human right according to the United Nations.”
Organizations can face several obstacles when attempting to implement digital accessibility, including difficulty obtaining executive leadership buy-in and a lack of awareness of where knowledge gaps exist. Traditional approaches to accessibility also often place too much responsibility on users. Instead, the firm suggests that organizations undertake 80% of the effort to ensure that their digital assets, products, and services are accessible to everyone.
To effectively implement digital accessibility, Info-Tech recommends in the new blueprint that IT leaders provide clear communication on the significance of accessibility and how it aligns with the organization’s key objectives and initiatives. Additionally, it is essential to gain a thorough understanding of the current state of accessibility and to identify the critical areas that require attention to integrate it into the IT strategic roadmap. By adopting these measures, organizations can integrate digital accessibility into their operations and decrease tech debt.
To ensure sustainability and acceptance of digital accessibility, the firm suggests that IT leaders identify and work towards a desired future state based on the accessibility maturity model outlined below:
- Initialize: Ensure the organization is compliant with regulations and standards.
- Develop: Normalize the awareness of accessibility and disability inclusion.
- Define: Implement measures to facilitate the accommodation requests of all users.
- Manage: Anticipate the preference of customers, employees, and users.
- Optimize: Streamline the digitalization process to enable smooth and effortless interaction for users.
“Although an organization might be required by law to ensure accessibility, understanding users’ needs and incorporating them into processes early will determine success beyond just compliance,” explains Leier-Murray.
Info-Tech’s research shows how having a strong digital access system can offer significant benefits to businesses. By ensuring that digital resources are accessible to everyone, companies can avoid missed opportunities with other organizations due to accessibility issues and empower all employees to be fully productive.
To gain a comprehensive understanding of implementing digital accessibility in a business setting, download the complete The Accessibility Business Case for IT blueprint.
About Info-Tech Research Group
Info-Tech Research Group is one of the world’s leading information technology research and advisory firms, proudly serving over 30,000 IT professionals. The company produces unbiased and highly relevant research to help CIOs and IT leaders make strategic, timely, and well-informed decisions. For 25 years, Info-Tech has partnered closely with IT teams to provide them with everything they need, from actionable tools to analyst guidance, ensuring they deliver measurable results for their organizations.
Melody McKinnon's formal education is in business management, which she enhanced with more than 60 certifications revolving around business, marketing, health, general sciences and writing. In 25 years of working online, she has owned or managed both educational and ecommerce websites. Her book, 7 Recession Proof Online Businesses to Start From Home, is available on Amazon.
Melody has worked with many businesses & brands in a multitude of capacities. She can often be found on CanadiansInternet.com, CanadianFamily.net and AllNaturalPetCare.com, as well as other quality digital publications. Her content has earned reference links from highly-respected websites, magazines and university textbooks.