All too often the decisions companies make around technology are not strategic and are done with little understanding of the impact technology will have on the company at large. Businesses must change their technology mindset; it’s not just an added cost or line item to expenses. The technology you deploy within your organization has a direct impact on effectively and efficiently achieving business goals. But those goals cannot be achieved in a vacuum; the strategy behind your IT operations must be aligned to the overarching business strategy. Without alignment of the two, reactive IT issues are bound to occur, productivity will be lost and success will be difficult to achieve.
There’s a lot to understand in order to feel confident about your IT operations. Here are a few points you must consider if you want your IT done right:
The grass isn’t always greener
Your technology will never run perfectly; that’s a reality you’ve got to accept. There will be issues and points of frustration, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to toss out systems and implement new ones. A fresh start isn’t always the answer when it comes to your IT infrastructure.
Remind yourself to let go of the pressure to chase after the newest technology roll out. Being new doesn’t guarantee IT solutions; it just promises a new set of challenges. Your technology hurdles will follow you, so take the time to navigate current roadblocks and address the issues within current systems before looking toward the next great tool.
Know where the productivity responsibility lies
When it comes to productivity, your IT infrastructure is not the one to be held responsible. Productivity falls on the shoulders of company leadership, and it takes more than a financial investment in technology. The most wasteful spend you can make is to invest in IT systems without implementing IT processes and procedures.
Make the time to document your processes and train your employees well. You cannot spend thousands of dollars on systems and then only donate a few hours toward employee training. The goal is to train your employees so they become the experts of your technology. Your employees should have the ability to confidently use company systems inside and out, and tap into its complete functionality.
- How are your employees using your technology to better serve customers?
- How are they leveraging your technology to impact company revenue?
These are the questions you have to start asking yourself. Your systems have to be more than be a database to store customer and prospect contact information. Make the time to encourage, fund and actively support the ongoing training of your core IT systems.
Metrics that matter most
Whether your IT team sits in-house or is outsourced, measurement is essential to an effective IT strategy. Talk with your IT service provider to better understand your company’s IT performance. The following questions will be key indicators to evaluate your IT health:
- What is the number of reactive tickets opened per user, per month?
- What is the total number of hours spent on reactive tickets?
- What is the percentage of reactive tickets closed within the same business day?
- What is the infrastructure cost per user, per month?
- What are the support costs per user, per month?
The answers tell a story and indicate how much of your IT resources are going toward solving reactive issues. The answers also tell the amount of productivity hours lost because of reactive issues that arise. Evaluate your IT operations the same way you’d evaluate your financial performance. You have to understand the investment you are making, where your dollars are going and if your investment is paying off. Because if all of your IT expenses are being put toward fighting reactive issues, you’ll never get to the point where your organization can focus on proactive IT management.
Want to learn more about creating an IT strategy that sets your company up for success? Take some time to watch our archived webinar. You’ll learn the role and responsibility of leaders when it comes to IT systems, and the questions you must have answered to avoid unnecessary IT costs.