IT is the backbone of any organization, helping companies stay agile and efficient. That’s why businesses are always looking to improve the way they manage their enterprise assets, technology resources, and processes. Here are five new – and often overlooked – ways to improve your IT operations and related systems.
1. Focus on Team Retention
During their employment, your IT team members will acquire tremendous knowledge about your assets, your end users, and your processes and policies – all of which must be captured, documented, and transferred to new workers when turnover occurs. By increasing retention in your IT department, you can keep that knowledge intact, which in turn will maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of IT management in your organization.
2. Get a better hold on your purchases
Some experts believe that the reason many IT management strategies fail is because companies only consider assets once they have been implemented. But, those companies with the most successful technology management plans have formal policies and procedures for building a business case before new assets are acquired, then evaluating and purchasing a solution once budget has been approved.
3. Proactive Replacement and Renewal
This aspect of IT management is often an afterthought. As applications become outdated, users ask for something new or better, and the search for a replacement begins. But, this process usually starts long after productivity has been negatively impacted, and the selection of a new solution is often rushed to minimize losses. By taking a more proactive approach – for example, evaluating the effectiveness of solutions on a frequent basis, and using formal assessment procedures to determine if replacement is necessary – you can ensure that obsolete assets are renewed before they create problems.
4. Ignore the Industry Benchmarks
IT leaders must demonstrate value to senior executives. While industry benchmarks are commonly used, they typically raise un-answerable questions, according to Forrester, because they don’t account for varying computer environments, staff competencies, management strategies, etc. In other words, an IT strategy that works for one company may be irrelevant for another. They key to proving return on IT investment is to focus on internal goals. For example, if your IT budget was recently increased 10 percent, what kind of productivity gains or revenue improvements did the additional spending yield? Or, if an outdated application was recently replaced, what were the benefits (i.e. increased availability or faster response times)?
5. Continuous Communication with Users
There is often a disconnect between IT and the end users they support. While one group will only consider how a new system or process will impact the technology infrastructure, the other will only think about how it affects their jobs on a day to day basis. But, in order to deliver optimum returns, IT operations and related assets must be looked at from both perspectives. Only open frequent dialogue between the two groups will help ensure that technology systems and related processes are properly aligned with key business objectives.