The Big, Bad "IT" in the Room
I have a question for CEOs and business leaders: How are you doing with managing IT? The reason I ask is because people in your role have great business minds but, for the most part, aren’t technically inclined. By that I don’t mean that you can’t operate your smartphone, but that you aren’t familiar with the intricacies of a network with all its connections, and how everything works together.
That’s okay. You can get people to do the complex tech stuff that needs to be done.
What’s scary is when you have to make decisions about IT without a sense of confidence in how you’re managing IT. That’s an awkward and uncomfortable feeling. It stems from having to depend on another person’s expertise while not feeling equipped to evaluate that person’s work. The usual checks and balances normally used to manage don’t seem to apply.
That’s when information technology becomes the big, bad “IT” in the room.
IT Isn’t Managed with a Straightforward Process
You’re probably doing great at managing other aspects of your business. Take the accounting department, for example. You know when a bill comes in, it’s going to have a due date, and someone in accounting needs to pay the bill on time. If it isn’t paid on time, you’ll have to deal with the bill again later on. It’s a straightforward process. If finances aren’t done correctly, monthly financial statements will reflect the deficiencies.
When it comes to IT, however, can you even imagine applying an easily understood process for its management? Chances are, the only time you talk with IT staff is when you or your management team want to do something new or when something is broken.
Let’s say you want to add a new software application like a CRM. What’s your IT person's first response? They'll probably start rattling off all of the intricacies involved, and the stuff they'll need to buy and build to make that happen. Pretty soon, your head is spinning and you tell them to "just make it work." It's nobody's fault - your brains are just wired differently.
But it doesn't have to be that way.
Time to Stop Ignoring the IT Problem
A better, and ultimately more comfortable, way to move forward is to turn the big, bad “IT” in the room into a partnership.
Start to manage the IT department like you do the other areas of your business. You do that with IT strategy, an IT team that can cover all the bases, and metrics for accountability. The clarity and transparency will be a refreshing change from the previously frustrating experience for both of you.
When it's working like it should, leadership and IT can put their heads together to create a roadmap that will sketch out the steps needed to make IT work for your business. That’s going to make a huge difference in your business performance and growth.
It might clear out a little space in the room, too.
Have you saved your seat for our next executive business technology webinar? You’ll be able to make more informed decisions about your Business Continuity plan when you attend: Will Your Business Continue? 3 Big Mistakes to Avoid When You’re Creating Your Data Backup and Disaster Recovery Plan. Learn more here...
About Marty Kaufman
Marty Kaufman is Founder and President of Accent Computer Solutions, Inc., a Southern California-based innovator in IT thinking. He got his start in the world of Big Data as Manager of Information Systems for General Dynamics. He earned his B.S. degree in Computer Information Systems from California Polytechnic University, Pomona in 1985 and started Accent Computer Solutions as a consulting firm in 1987. He has spent his entire career researching and implementing Information Technology strategies and processes to help his clients reduce the cost and risk of IT.
- Connect with Marty Kaufman