Happy New Year!
A new year brings new hope. While it is still too early to declare victory on economic recovery, it is probably fair to say that the worst of Great Recession is behind us. The question then is “how to position for growth?”
The economic crisis that we have had with us has had significant implications for IT. Cutbacks to budget has reduced available resources for carrying out new projects that are often needed to support business growth, and it is unclear whether those resources will come back quickly. To position for growth, IT has to become more efficient. The mantra of being able to do more with less is more true than ever.
So how can IT become more efficient in 2011? Here are several things to consider:
Be More User Focused
IT exists to support line of businesses to help drive efficiencies and enable new business models. When times are tough, it is even more important for IT to serve its users well and become even more indispensable. The ability to measure the level of service delivered to end users is critically important, as it would be very difficult to improve IT services without the information. Do you know how your users are using your services? Do you know what kind of experience they get? If not, it is time to find that out so that you can use the information to make improvements. Knowing how your end users use your services and the experience that they get can help you focus your precious resources on things that benefits your business the most. Consider implementing user experience management tools to help you get these insights.
This one may seem obvious – if there are fewer people to do the job, either you automate or you work longer. The fear, however, is one could get automated out of a job. I am not sure if this is a constructive way to think about things though. People want your service if you add value. The more value you add, the more valuable you become. If you can come up with ways to improve efficiencies, you are adding value. Who wouldn't want you for that? Automation can be done in many ways, with scripting a common approach. However, scripting introduces its own problems. Instead of writing scripts from scratch, consider implementing them on top of packaged tool. By building on top of packaged tool, you can achieve better automation with less effort.
Demonstrate Your Value-Add
As you add value, make sure you document your contributions, preferably in quantifiable ways that are relevant to your end users. IT sometimes get bad rap as problems are highlighted and progress are not communicated effectively. Consider implementing service level management processes so that goals are set, progress is measured, and results are reported clearly. This will help you communicate your success and the value that you add to your organization.
2010 is over, and we get to start things over in 2011. Let's make the most out of it.