As a business owner or executive, you probably notice the obvious IT support problems that take everyone’s focus away from your core business. While you can see that something like a network outage causes a big disruption in your business operations, here are three more ways that IT support can hijack your focus on your business and commandeer the resources that could be used to move the company forward.
1. IT Doesn’t Understand Your Business
Whether you are outsourcing IT or have an internal team, there could be a big disconnect between IT and business needs if IT doesn’t understand your business. In this situation, IT might be primarily focused on the technical issues at hand. Technology improvements like optimizing, updating or automating systems might be suggested but technology initiatives like these aren’t likely to have a positive impact unless they are tied to business strategy.
Look at the relationship that your IT provider or IT manager has with those in the company that are involved with strategy. If they do not meet regularly to listen and learn about business challenges and goals, they are not going to be in a position to provide the kind of advice that will effectively focus IT activity and investment on implementing business strategy nor will they be able to bring innovative ideas to the table. It will be up to you to do that.
2. IT Costs are Unpredictable
Unpredictable IT costs are often a symptom of a chaotic IT environment. In this scenario there’s always a surprise just around the corner, and who knows how big the bill is going to be to fix what’s wrong. Making the wrong decisions about technology can be another reason for unpredictable costs.
For example, the choice to go to cloud services may not be supported by your infrastructure, or a software choice might not integrate with your other systems. In cases like these, you’ll end up spending more than you initially planned to get everything to work. Whenever you have to react to a situation that surprises you with extra costs, your attention is diverted from your core mission.
3. IT Doesn’t Plan for the Future
If your IT solution provider is only called into action when there’s an issue to fix, there is no chance to plan for the future. No one will be working proactively to make things better, and they will always have only the issue at hand on their radar. Even if they address basic hardware and software updates, IT companies that don’t help you develop and implement IT strategy will not be able to help you plan for the future.
Technology touches all business units – Operations, Finance, HR, Sales and Marketing. When you fail to plan future technology investments as aligned with objectives, you’ll miss opportunities to get the best ROI from technology investments and IT will continue to divert your attention from what the business does to generate revenue.