5 Common Reasons Why IT Projects Fail
With the pace that technology changes these days, IT projects are inevitable — hardware will need to be replaced, applications will need to be upgraded, etc.
When that time comes, business owners and managers want to invest their money in solutions that will increase their efficiency so they can serve their customers better. But many times, IT projects fall short of expectations. Why is that?
Here are five common reasons why IT projects fail to deliver the anticipated results.
1. Techies want the latest and greatest technology.
While new technology may claim to offer enhanced capabilities or faster performance, often times, the reality is another story. New technology has not had the benefit of thorough testing, so it is bound to have bugs and unforeseen issues. The goal of corporate IT should be to stabilize the environment and reduce the risk of downtime, so taking a more conservative approach to implementing new technology is generally better for businesses. Being the “test pilot” for new technology is not for everyone.
2. Lack of strategic IT planning.
Without understanding the strategic vision for the company, it is nearly impossible to determine what technology will be necessary to support the business plan objectives. Technology planning on a quarterly basis will help companies budget for the future and reduce unexpected IT expenses.
3. Not enough cross-functional communication.
In many organizations, IT seems to be isolated. This can cause projects to be completed for technical reasons instead of business reasons. For example, upgrading a server may cause applications to stop working because they are not compatible with the new version. Being aware of and carefully mapping out everything that will be affected in advance is a major component of the project planning process.
4. Lack of training or experience.
The resources assigned to the project may not have enough training or experience to successfully implement the technology. IT is complicated and requires ongoing training and hands-on experience to keep up with changes that are happening daily. Having the right team of IT professionals is critical to IT success — they do projects in complex IT environments all the time, so they know what to expect and you won’t be paying for them to learn on your dime.
5. Hiring an IT company just for a project or going with the cheapest price.
Many businesses rely on the expertise of one or two internal IT resources. When it comes time for a major upgrade or other complex project, they may need some additional hands or expertise, but hiring an IT company just for a project may not be the best choice. And choosing one based on price may also be the cause of poor results. This might not sound like the way businesses are used to approaching IT, but throwing even the smartest of IT resources into an unfamiliar environment is asking for trouble. IT systems need constant monitoring and management to keep everything running smoothly, so businesses should engage with a long-term partner whose goals are aligned with the organization’s to manage their IT.
It is possible for business owners and managers to get better-than-expected results from their IT. There are many people out there who can do IT projects and the prices are all over the map, but to get the best results, you need good IT support and management first. With proper IT management, you’ll be able to make strategic decisions with cross-functional knowledge, plan and budget for IT, and get results that you probably haven’t experienced before.
Learn more about how to make sure your next IT project meets your expectations by accessing our webinar: Why IT Projects Disappoint.
About Courtney Casey
In an industry dominated by men, Courtney Casey, Director of Marketing for Accent Computer Solutions, Inc., is making her mark on the world of information technology. Courtney has been immersed in the IT field most of her life and has been molded into the tech savvy expert she is today. She began working for Accent while earning her Bachelor's degree from California State University, Long Beach. Known in the Inland Empire as the "Tech Girl," Courtney is a regular columnist for the region's newspaper of record, The Press-Enterprise. Her columns address topical news trends, new technology products, and offer advice on how to embrace technology or avoid common IT pitfalls.