Your enterprise’s internal IT department has a plethora of responsibilities to deal with on a daily basis, but we’re sure that your technicians receive all sorts of odd, unplanned-for requests that can drag them down and throw off their schedule. Here are four of the biggest culprits that can cause problems for your IT department and hold them back from accomplishing their daily tasks, as well as how a CIO should react to them.
- “While you’re here, can you look at my ___________?” Your techs might be dispatched to handle certain responsibilities, but requests for side jobs are a common occurrence–especially if other employees within the organization have neglected to report technology troubles to IT. This type of unapproved work can easily eat up a significant portion of time which could be better spent making progress on innovation or new initiatives. It’s best to have a process as to how requests for support flow through the department. Time-tracking and scheduling software can go a long way toward improving operations, but the real challenge is emphasizing that the rest of the company has to follow the support request process that you put into place.
- “I didn’t know we had one of those. I just ordered another one.” How often has your IT staff ordered a part, only to have someone else purchase the same exact part due to lackluster internal communication? One of the best ways to limit the amount of excess technology your organization purchases is by limiting how many individuals within your enterprise have the privilege to purchase new technology. Plus, you should always be reviewing invoices to ensure that you only pay for services and products that you use and need. This helps you catch mistakes in part acquisitions and limit miscommunications with your vendors. Another option is real-time inventory management software which uses a simple barcode scanning system to add or remove products from your enterprise’s stockpile.
- “Does anyone know who was responsible for updating that?” Your internal IT procedures are arguably one of the most important business processes to streamline. You should have measures put into place to keep your IT department accountable for the work that they do, especially on internal systems. Furthermore, it’s important to have fully-documented processes that take into account infrastructure resources, software and hardware compatibility, and any potential variable that could threaten the outcome of a project. Be prepared for anything and you’ll be rewarded with greater efficiency as a whole.
- “I can’t remember what else I wanted to talk about today, but I feel like it was important…” We all know that one person who always seems to have something important to say, but can never remember what it actually is. This belies a significant issue within your internal IT department that may end up eating up a surprising amount of time and resources; a lack of planning or unorganized meetings. One way that you can resolve this problem is by holding regularly-scheduled meetings to discuss new initiatives and address any concerns that your IT department might have. Ask them to put together a punch list of topics that they feel need to be discussed, and hammer out all of the details to keep everyone on the same page.
The next time that you hear any of these phrases around your enterprise’s office, take a moment to address them with the suggested responses. Doing so can vastly improve the efficiency and productivity of your IT department. However, it’s also worth noting that many of these issues can simply be resolved by implementing a co-managed IT solution. A co-managed IT solution can:
- Free up time: If your internal IT department is drained from dealing with unexpected or unplanned-for maintenance, outsourcing this responsibility can lift the burden from their shoulders. Whether you need to implement new solutions or provide help desk support, the outsourced provider can effectively double the amount of time your team has to perform their daily duties.
- Improve efficiency: Another great way to use co-managed IT is to have the outsourced team act as a vendor liaison or a technology acquisition expert. In this case, the outsourced team would be responsible for purchasing new technology solutions, and they would act as the single point of contact for this purpose. If your internal department needs new components for a project or maintenance, have them go through the outsourced team to ensure that no excess parts are ordered.
- Provide an expert’s touch: There’s an old adage that perfectly describes the idea behind co-managed IT; “the more, the merrier.” No two problems will be the same, especially in the enterprise environment. You may encounter situations that you aren’t familiar with. Co-managed IT seeks to augment the skills and certifications of your own internal IT department with those of other professionals, creating a collective knowledge base to turn to for any IT troubles. Instead of researching the issue and developing a fix, you can consult other technology professionals who may be able to help, saving time and resources for more efficient purposes.
Co-managed IT is a solid investment for any time-sensitive or budget-minded enterprise, and one that can significantly improve the way your IT department goes about their tasks. For more information, feel free to reach out to us and ask about co-managed IT solutions.