I.T. is better when…

It’s Thanksgiving week and I’m thankful for another year of work and learning. During my reflection this year for what I’m thankful for, I thought about what makes life in IT better. What are those things that help IT perform to their best ability? What are those things that help an IT group provide great service?Make IT Better

So here’s a list you can gobble-up. It’s stuffed with good fillings. If you’re not in IT then give it to your IT guy/gal. Hopefully it won’t give them indigestion.

IT is better when:

  • employees focus on service and solutions over process and policy – This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have policies and procedures. But as a matter of focus, IT is better when the goal of the employee is to provide service and solutions. For more discourse on this topic read What do you want to be known for?
  • employees move beyond thinking about salary as their primary motivator. I’ve heard my fair share of salary whining in a 25 year technology career. When that happens the employee loses focus on getting better, continuous learning, and service delivery. But more than that they lose focus on being happy at work.  It’s a distraction for them and those they involve. As a general statement, IT employees are well compensated. Salary isn’t a right-of position. IT employees are as responsible for delivering results as any other department.
  • the business units treat IT as a partner for solution development. So often I see business units skip IT to work with  an outside provider directly. It’s a complicated topic and yes IT is often too stacked-up with work to deliver services in the needed timeline. But this behavior often results from an attitude that IT can’t provide. If IT isn’t viewed as a legitimate business partner then they don’t even get a seat at the table to deliver solutions and services.
  • IT treats the business as a customer instead of an “user”. The term “user” is pretty impersonal. I’ve heard IT service delivery personnel talk about internal customers as if they are a nuisance or disruption to their day. Not cool. Those are customers and IT is better when they are they are treated like a customer. IT is definitely better when they focus on customer service. (Hint: this helps to create the atmosphere that solves the bullet above this one)
  • finance treats IT as a source for competitive advantage instead of a cost center. The cost center mentality is a race to zero. That’s not a winnable game for anyone. When finance sees and pushes IT to offer competitive advantages then IT gets better.  How do we return ROI on our technology investment? How do we charge-back some of cost to build services for customers?