Fire Fighting Mode, Rogue Operations, and More
As we talk with corporate executives and business owners about where they are with technology and where they want to go with their business, we come across some similar situations. The stories that these people share with us reflect the frustration they have in trying to move their business forward. They don’t always know what is missing but they have a nagging feeling that there should be a better way to manage their technology. The following scenarios are the symptoms that some of these executives have experienced before they discovered that it was possible to align business and IT strategy to meet their objectives.
1. IT Acts As a Fire Fighter
It is unrealistic to expect that good maintenance will eliminate the need for repairs, but the truth is that stuff happens. When emergencies and repairs are all that IT does, however, there is a problem. Imagine a fire scene and think how this constant situation affects your business – it can be highly traumatic; it needs lots of resources to resolve; and it takes some time and adjustment to get back to normal.
2. The IT Department Can’t Keep Up
When your IT department doesn’t have the bandwidth to attend to all of the issues and projects that are on their plate, delay is the norm and eventually things get dropped. While they are bombarded with needs from every department, projects for improvement or innovation are always on the back burner. Minor issues grow until they become major problems that can potentially shut down the company.
3. Rogue IT Operations
People don’t really like surprises with their technology. When your IT operations do their own thing without collaborating with departments and computer users, no one knows what is going to happen next. Because IT doesn’t take the time to understand how each department utilizes applications, staff might find that they suddenly have fewer or less effective tools, and their frustration adds to diminished job performance.
4. People Bypass IT
Usually, people will bypass IT to get capabilities they need because it’s easier and it’s faster. They just want to get their work done and going through IT to get something as simple as file sharing is a big deal. The implications for bypassing IT, whether it’s an individual or on the departmental level, are that the company can be at increased risk for data loss or theft,and the infrastructure could be stretched beyond its limits.
5. IT Doesn’t Bring Ideas
If IT isn’t bringing new ideas about how the business can better utilize technology then they either don’t have any ideas or they aren’t able to communicate their ideas. Most IT professionals are stimulated by the ever changing nature of technology and naturally look forward to the next innovation so it’s not likely that your IT people don’t have ideas. What’s probably amiss is a culture of collaboration and the associated communication channels that nurture discussions about new ideas, and which ideas should be pursued as a part of the business strategy.
6. Improvement Doesn’t Improve
Optimization and automation of your current technology tools does not equal improvement. Your software vendor will always be eager to sell you the next version of their application, and you can find ways to automate your business processes but you need to ask why. If you drill down to the result that you need to get, you might find a better solution elsewhere. IT improvement should put your business in a better position to meet your objectives, not just be better or faster at what you are already doing.
7. IT is Unpredictable
If staff come to work and wonder what might happen with email, or the company server, or their computer, or the phone system today, the stress level in the company is probably pretty high. Interruptions during the work day decrease productivity and cause customer frustration. For the company executive, unpredictable IT can also mean unexpected costs when extensive repairs or replacements are necessary.
Aligning business and IT strategy takes some effort and expertise but when in place, it is a way of guiding your company’s IT activities and investments so that they support your business objectives.
Thriveon’s IT strategy and management services are based on our proprietary process that provide a proven path to business success with technology. To have a business conversation about your technology, contact us to request a meeting. Learn how to get started with IT strategy by downloading your copy of the E-Book – IT Strategy Quick Start Guide.Firefighter via photopin (license)