We need a total transformation of the way we run IT. There are many factors validating the need for this, including the fact that we’re experiencing the following in full force:
- Technology consumerization, or the power of technology being directly in the hand of the consumer
- The digitization of the enterprise, or added pressure on today’s IT leaders to harness technology and talent to advance the organization’s digital ambition
- The increasing cost of IT
And because of these added pressures, leaders can find themselves spending even more time on run tasks, concerned with only keeping the lights on. Unfortunately, IT departments often find themselves stuck in the weeds, failing to reach the core initiatives within their organization.
I’d like to explore a few steps you can take to begin the revolution and transform the way IT works — and I hope AV integrators respond in turn.
Adopting a True Service Delivery Framework
A service delivery framework, like ITIL, ensures that each function, role, response, and priority is set so that when events and incidents happen, the business can respond swiftly and more efficiently. Companies have historically struggled to build process into their environments, often exploring the wrong path like bringing on more staffers versus reallocating talent.
Having a framework to follow from start to finish allows companies to re-shape how they design process, scale intelligently, reduce labor costs and eliminate unforced errors. It also allows companies to begin adhering to best practices and standards to reduce the time spent on run. This concept applies to both IT departments and the AV integrators who provide solutions for them, of course.
Lending an Eye to Out-Tasking
Too many companies try to handle all tasks in-house with their limited staff and resources. Most often, this approach leads to wasted resources, higher cost, lower performance, and less focus and attention on growth and transformation activities.
Therefore, organizations are beginning to cast more attention on out-tasking and teaming with a managed services provider to remove defined run tasks from their plate. Though the term “outsourcing” has historically held a bad reputation in the IT world, out-tasking is entirely different. If HR departments see fit to out-task their company’s 401k, IT heads shouldn’t feel bad about out-tasking their technology projects to AV integrators.
Considering a Single Pane of Glass
With the rise of the modern IT world — one in which data, tools, talent, software, and hardware are distributed anywhere in the world — it becomes harder to monitor IT. Different tools are required to manage complex environments, meaning there are often multiple panes of glass we must use to manage our IT operations.
At the lowest level, that could be four tools, but for some organizations, it could mean 15 to 20. As a result, we end up creating a siloed environment in which only two to three people are equipped to access the tools and there is no holistic picture displaying the health of the network. The industry needs to find a way to bring separate tools together, viewing IT through a single pane of glass.
Thinking about Automation
In 2016, Gartner dubbed automation “the next frontier for IT,” explaining that the benefits automation offers organizations—from improving accountability and predictability to helping slash costs—are simply too powerful to ignore.
Therefore, transformative IT leaders are aggressively considering which existing tools, processes and methodologies can be automated to start reaping the gains of automation. With automation, one of the most powerful components comes in removing human interactions and touch points.
By eliminating manual process and decreasing time to resolution and response, this allows teams to get back to focusing on core activities and bringing innovative concepts to their business.
Building Contextual Knowledge of an Organization
For AV integrators to properly support infrastructure, there is a lot of information that needs to be documented and stored centrally. Unfortunately, though, traditional IT departments have not done a great job in documenting their environments as thoroughly as is needed. So what are we left with? A sea of spreadsheets, Word documents, SharePoint sites, and information that lives in engineers’ heads.
As a result, when problems arise, the time to resolution lengthens because companies embark on a big hunt for information. To transform the business, we have to begin to build systems that allow critical information to be stored in a single system that is one click away, rather than buried in spreadsheets or confined to one team member.
The time for an IT revolution is now. We cannot help our businesses grow and, most importantly, transform, if we are mired in running the show. The revolution starts with looking at constructive and actionable steps that lead us down the road to IT relevance.