The world of a technology provider is an ever-evolving soup of acronyms, technology, products, and business methodologies. Whether it’s adding new services such as data back up and disaster recovery, or completely changing your business model from break-fix to managed services, staying current may seem impossible. Today, a lot of talk centers on “owning the customer”. This typically means owning all the end points on a network, such as displacing copy companies by offering managed print services. With so many choices, it can be difficult to know which bandwagon to get on – you have to balance your time and money as you invest in technologies that will add value to your existing business and generate a profit.
The nature of data is changing.
I was recently asked to comment on how an IT manager can most effectively build partnerships with the business side of the company. Having a very technical background and a business background as well, I have had the benefit of sitting on both sides of the fence. To the IT director, the IT department is the heart and soul of the company; without IT the company would grind to a halt. To the rest of the business, IT is often looked at as a necessary evil. They don’t really understand what IT does, and they often don’t care. They just want their computers to run quickly, their printers to print, and they want their reports to contain accurate data that they need to get their jobs done. This dual perspective can create tension between IT and the rest of the company, with IT feeling unappreciated and the other departments feeling that they are at the mercy of IT.
For an IT director to be successful, he or she needs to bridge the gap between the technical side of the house and the operations side.
The following are some techniques that an IT director can use:
If you develop software, you’ve probably been frustrated from interacting with “them”. You know who I mean – those pesky end-users ; the consumers of your product. You’ve probably thought (more than once I’m sure) that these users are either: