Attention directors, VP’s and all business leaders: I have a few secrets to share that your IT staff doesn’t want you to hear. These items could be preventing you from getting a better return on your technology investments.
1. Servers do not need to be onsite.
In fact, having your own server room weights your budget down with staff, hardware and utility costs while providing little benefit to your business. Put an end to it. Detox the server room, turn it into a conference room and run to the cloud; it’s where your successful competitors already play.
2. Good IT departments do more than keep networks and computers running. Expect more.
IT departments are traditionally managed as a support resource, a necessary cost that reduces your bottom line rather than contributing to it. Progressive IT departments have changed the scene. Mobility, software as a service (SaaS), SEO strategy, and recognizing new revenue opportunities should be part of your IT expectations.
3. PCs are not the only acceptable platform for the business.
In the past, you needed PCs with MS Office to communicate with the business community. Now that file formats and many applications are OS agnostic, the significant players are ones that best integrate with cloud services. Does your staff still meet clients with a PowerPoint presentation saved on a USB drive? If so, you need to expect more of your IT.
4. IT staff needs to speak professionally, write well and be comfortable pitching to potential customers.
They are no longer the back room support for the company. Since revenue depends on integration of technology with conventional revenue streams, they need to be able to understand and sell your business. When hiring new IT staff, look for good communicators.
5. Outsourcing infrastructure to vendors is a good move.
This scares IT staff because it means less support staff is necessary. Instead, focus on creating smaller, more nibble IT departments with more time to participate in business planning and identify new revenue possibilities.
6. It is okay to bring your own device to work.
Staff should be able to perform work functions on personal devices. However, this requires well-implemented cloud services and a BYOD (bring your own device) policy. Does your business have such a policy?
Technology staff should not be confined to implementation and support. IT staff should bring innovation to a company beyond support. How does this transformation occur? Staff must understand how they impact revenue and the bottom line. Coach your IT staff to contribute to business planning and then you will see a natural drive to innovate. Happy hours help, as well.
Tim Richter is a seasoned IT leader providing technology agendas that support strategic business plans. Richter Sterling offers an affordable and flexible alternative to expensive in-house IT leadership. As a result, your business can capture a higher return on technology investments.