Optimizing Today’s Technology Requires a Mindset Shift
Historically, IT departments have worked behind the scenes to fill the demands of the organization. Complex ticket systems guided daily work activities, and rigorous governance policies limited creativity and flexibility. Success has often been measured in up-time percentages and resolved versus outstanding tickets.
When companies evaluated software options, they often limited their scope to a few criteria such as:
- How effectively can it handle transactions?
- How much does it cost?
- Will it work on our hardware?
Those days are over.
Modern technology is changing the way IT departments contribute to their organizations, and if your team isn’t already making adjustments, your company isn’t getting the full value from your people OR your software systems. With many software solutions constructed as “software as a service” (SaaS) models, all the upgrades, maintenance, and backups the IT team was responsible for in the past are now managed by the vendor.
Transitioning from maintaining to enabling.
This means that the work of the IT team is evolving. McKinsey released a report, “Reshaping IT Management for Turbulent Times,” which describes the new responsibilities of an “Enabling IT” department. Their perspective includes a vision of IT that supports the organization’s innovative culture by working with business unit leaders to understand how technology can help them achieve their goals. Instead of “back office support staff,” these employees are becoming “business partners.”
Measurements of uptime and outstanding tickets may still be monitored, but the IT staff is held accountable for contributing to helping business units achieve those goals. IT employees can no longer operate by keeping their heads down and churning out tickets, instead, they need to build business relationships and get involved in operational strategy. These changes make agile project management possible.
Agile project management creates innovative solutions.
Agile project management breaks down slow-moving waterfall approaches into two- to three-week cross-functional sprints. Each sprint focuses on achieving incremental goals, and many teams can work on a variety of sprints at the same time. IT staff are important team members in these sprints.
Your decisions are only as good as the data you have.
The value of software is changing, too. ERP systems contribute to operational success in a much broader way, primarily around data flow and data collection. By operating on a single database structure, records flow from one business unit to another seamlessly, eliminating double entries and errors. Because employees can access most systems from anywhere via the internet, data enters the system continuously. As a result, an organization using a multi-module ERP solution has up-to-the- minute access to more information than ever.
However, It’s not enough to have more data. To make good decisions quickly you need access to quality data in a format you and your management team can understand. IT Teams will need to work closely with Data Analysts to extract data in reportable formats that illustrate sound statistical measurements.
Moral of the story.
If your company hasn’t re-evaluated your ERP solutions or discussed how to add value to your IT department’s contributions to organizational strategy, it’s time to get started. Prepare now to make 2022 your company’s best year yet.
About WEnd Consulting Services
WEnd Consulting Services contributes professional expertise to help business owners and leaders in the petroleum and refueling industry grow their businesses and achieve success. We believe all companies, no matter the size, can compete and deliver excellence to their customers, and our team is committed to helping them along the way.
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contact Michael Keller