Five Ways to Take IT to a Higher Level


Five Ways to Take IT to a Higher Level

The following five steps can boost an IT organization's approval ratings, while simultaneously taking enterprise technology to a higher, more productive level.

By Samuel Greengard

It sometimes feels as if the IT organization doesn't get any love. Here are five ways to boost approval ratings while taking enterprise technology to a higher level:

  1. Stop fighting the tide.
    BYOD, consumer tech and shadow IT. It's enough to create a deer-in-the-headlights mentality for any IT professional. Resist the temptation to fight these trends. Instead, make then your friends. They aren't going away: Employees will continue to demand the latest and greatest technology, and these devices can actually transform the organization.

  2. Think business, not tech.
    It's no secret that IT professionals have long been bits-and-bytes types, not pie-in-the-blue-sky creative folks. But next-gen tools and technologies—including mobility, social media and big data—have created a need for a different type of IT person: someone who can see the big picture and keep his or her eye on the ball.

  3. Make metrics matter. It's almost impossible to find an IT department that doesn't rely on some type of metrics or key performance indicators (KPIs). The problem is that many IT departments use the wrong metrics—or, at least, an incomplete list of metrics. They're hitting five nines on availability or achieving server utilization goals, but the enterprise is missing key functionality or is lacking the apps and integration necessary to unleash productivity or sales gains.

  4. Blow up the silos and rethink IT. It's neat and convenient to do the 20th century thing: Assemble departments that are dedicated to specific tasks, i.e., finance, human resources, operations, sales and marketing, and IT. But today's business environment demands a different type of approach: cross-functional capabilities, new titles and roles, and borderless, boundary-free organizational thinking that relies on collaboration and mutual teamwork.

  5. Build governance into everything. Although success in the digital era often revolves around blowing up old-style thinking and highly structured IT-centric models, it's still critical to develop a strong governance model and build it into everything. Otherwise, chaos, anarchy and turf battles ensue. Develop basic rules (based on what the organization requires, not just IT), enforce the rules and continue to revisit the rules on a regular basis.