Tips to Make Good IT Operations Better

    August 13, 2015

    Many companies still view their IT departments as separate entities, largely designed to function as call centers that make customers and their complaints go away. What they fail to realize is that a truly effective IT infrastructure can become a competitive advantage to any company.

    Technological development over the past 20 years has been something of a roller coaster ride — the tech landscape is constantly evolving, and as the focus shifts from hardware to software and back again, adaptability has become essential to stay ahead of the curve.

    IT departments know this better than anyone. Even a decade ago, IT’s principal role was to install and troubleshoot then-burgeoning technologies like Ethernet networks, mail servers, and company laptops, according to TechRepublic. They were the proverbial catcher’s mitt, collating and smoothing the many points of friction as companies transitioned to a more digital-oriented workplace.

    Times Are Changing

    Today, many of these systems are largely automated and generally require little attention to function smoothly. Successful IT departments have shifted the focus from troubleshooting to system optimization, placing an emphasis on efficiency, agility, and risk reduction.

    But plenty of companies are woefully underutilizing their IT departments without even realizing it. The most effective role this valuable resource can take on is that of an active player within the business, rather than a mere buffer between the company and the complaining customer.

    By optimizing and expanding the role of IT within your business, you can mitigate risk and cut costs, all while enabling business-aligned IT decisions that keep you one step ahead of the competition. Here are three simple ways you can make good IT even better:

    1. Make Sure You’re on the Same Page

    The path to improving your IT department’s performance starts with good communication. Many businesses still view their IT departments as separate entities, which in turn means that they’re largely out of the loop when it comes to properly aligning with a company’s big-picture objectives. It’s impossible for IT to drive business when they’re unclear about the fundamental principles of the business they’re supposed to be driving.

    Bring them into the conversation and make sure you’re all on the same page. By treating them like the integral department you want them to become, there’s a much better chance that they’ll actually step up and fill that role.

    2. Be Introspective

    A key question you should always be asking is, “What is the functional maturity of my daily IT operations?” The ability to identify and understand problem areas is crucial when it comes to taking productive steps in the right direction.

    But keep in mind — what you see doesn’t always reflect an underlying reality. Understanding what needs fixing, or what could be improved to provide more value, can be next to impossible without an objective point of view. Bringing in an outside perspective to help with that assessment will help ensure you approach issues from every possible angle.

    3. Use the Right Tools

    There are a number of resources available for evaluating and improving IT service delivery within a company. And probably the best place to start is by implementing the IT Service Optimization Maturity Model, developed by the IT experts at TeamQuest.

    The model consists of five maturity levels — each new level acts as a stepping-stone that builds upon the capabilities introduced in previous levels. By taking incremental steps, the path to IT optimization can be quick and efficient while remaining balanced and manageable. Let TeamQuest be your guide and begin your journey today.