Does Your IT Department Not Have Time For the Big Picture? How IT Tunnel Vision Restricts Your Business.
Often as business leaders, we assume that everything is working—we’ve hired good people to keep the lights on, doors open and customers happy. But often, we fail to make sure everyone ‘gets it’—understands where the company is going and how their role is a critical contribution to your organization reaching its goals. And by goal, this can be annual, quarterly or even something relating to your core mission. Most likely, your team members have a head to the grindstone, blinders focused on the work at hand and fail to see where their puzzle piece fits into the scheme of things.
And many have identified having a tunnel-vision mentality is often a chronic problem in IT departments. In this post I wanted to identify some of the key issues your IT department might have in their hard struggle to understand and keep up with your organization’s vision and mission:
- They don’t understand disruption—as a leader in your industry, you’re always trying to find ways to differentiate and set your business apart from everyone else. Even if you don’t have much competition today, more than likely someone is going to try to take advantage of a small market share tomorrow.
What you need out of your IT department is to align their technology strategies with your vision to keep your business ahead of any competition. What can an IT do to help meet this goal? They can leverage technology to save you money on wasted time through automated processes. They can also identify and test new/different ways to digitally interact with customers or potential customers. Regardless of the way you might disrupt your competition, your IT team needs to understand and be focused on how to execute by leveraging technology.
- They aren’t keeping up on the right skills to keep you competitive—if your IT team is spending even half of their day dealing with simple user issues—passwords and logins, network connectivity, printer issues—how can they gain the latest IT skills to advance your business? The reality is they can’t.
- They are not collaborating with other departments—too focused on their jobs—keeping your systems running—they lack little energy to move beyond. When your IT team doesn’t understand or even regularly engage with your other team members, they lack even a fundamental understanding of what your team does, why they work the way they do- why they might use specific technology- and maybe even identify how technology might be leveraged in their jobs to more effectively and satisfactorily do their jobs.
- No big plan for your big data—did you know that you’re collecting tons of data that likely is not being used or is underutilized? Your systems likely log data pertaining to staff and customer behaviors. Having your IT staff focused on harnessing the right information from all that you’re collecting can put you ahead—creating more satisfied customers, happier staff and keep your business on top. But having your IT focus on the big picture and big data might not pan out if they have to also think about Sally’s frozen computer or Nick’s lost email.
- 80% of your budget goes to maintenance— what’s surprising is how few people realize that most of IT’s time actually goes to keeping users happy and maintaining their systems. That’s 4 days out of the work week focused on the ‘small potato’ issues. Can you really afford your IT staff spending most of their time not focused on making your company better?
It’s about making sure you get the most out of IT—20% of your work load is actually creating 80% of the work for your IT department. If we apply the Pareto Principle (also known as the 80/20 rule), time and time again, IT experts have identified that the majority of work your IT team focuses on a daily basis is related to the small potatoes: helping users with computer issues. 80% is a big number! That means that 80% of your IT spending is paying for someone to find that lost email or fix the printing issue.
That’s 80% that should be devoted to making your business better. But with a lack of focus, your IT team is left distractedly dealing with issues that should be easy to fix. And less-focused on what will keep your organization successful.
The biggest problem with your IT is you haven’t ‘Rightsourced’ your outsourcing—what I mean by this is identify the areas—while critical—are a drain on your IT staff.
But to have a competitive advantage, your IT Department needs to focus on the big picture— collaborate and innovate internally with your departments—Marketing, Finance, Human Resources, etc.— to best move your company to a new state of efficiency, customer satisfaction and team performance. Outsourcing your help desk is one big component to reaching your goals through IT.
Contact me today to find a way to Rightsource your IT through a free helpdesk audit. Because your mission is already clear and your IT needs to keep focused on that mission.