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So, I’ve got a new job now. Rightly or wrongly, my employer has seen fit to make me (amongst others) a custodian of the good relationship between the business and our IT department.

I have a responsibility for fostering a positive relationship across the various many thousands of employees that we have in the UK. I help to set expectations, to understand need, aims and goals and ensure that IT can meet them.

In an organisation that’s hardly familiar with the idea that someone will come and ‘talk IT’ with them, how do we show value?

How do we show them that we’re ‘more than just laptops’? I guess many support functions within business suffer the same fate – for example where HR Business Partners struggling to be involved in more strategic conversations, and instead being paper processing monkeys.

I don’t really have the answer; but for a department that provides ‘services’ as fundamental as computers (that work well) or email (that’s fast and available), collaboration and storage (that isn’t a Pain in the Arse to use); how do you step up and away and up from that?

Perhaps one solution is to ‘back off’. In any business where the day to day aim is to make money, a starting point could be to acknowledge that and realise that the primary aim is not ‘be excellently endowed with IT’. Similarly: Security, Risk Management, HR and Finance should all back off and demonstrate an understanding of priority. Along with ‘making money’ comes ‘increase productivity’ to essentially ‘increase margin’. That’s were we can fit in.

Focus on those, and we’ll only ever make friends. Perhaps by taking that first step back, conversations can be had in the proper context of the organisation, conversations that drive the bottom line and align to the real priorities?

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