Business IT has long since evolved from a small department “where the magic happens” to become the lynchpin of modern operations. IT is expected to fulfil a strategic role within the organisation; helping to achieve long-term objectives such as driving revenue growth, reducing operational costs and improving the user and customer experience. With almost every workflow within your organisation dependent on IT in some way or another, everyone has become a stakeholder.
The challenge for IT decision makers is to meet the varying and increasing demands of a wide range of stakeholders; from employees to customers and suppliers. However, juggling the day-to-day management of your ICT infrastructure can lead to a degree of short-sightedness. In a classic case of “not seeing the wood for the trees” you might be missing some warning signs that your IT is about to reach a crisis point.
The chances are, you’ve ignored some of the signs already. So, what should you be looking out for?
1. You’re not realising the full potential of your technology
As your IT estate continues to experience organic growth, you are experiencing diminishing returns on your investment in technology. System sprawl, changing user demands and a lack of cohesion across the estate means some components are under-utilised and others are stretched to breaking point.
2. Systems management has become a burden
There is an art to managing an IT estate that is more than simply keeping the lights on. If your management tools and processes are inefficient and don’t provide you with the diagnostics you need then it will have a negative impact on your organisation.
3. Your costs are going up
The modern mantra for IT departments is “more for less”. If your costs are going up, not only are you failing to achieve this objective but it might also be a sign that something is broken. Maintaining an expensive in-house resource that spends most of its time doing low-end services simply doesn’t make sense.
4. You’re struggling to maintain service levels
If you are managing on the borders of chaos every month you will be spending all your time doing short-term fixes, with no time to work on a longer-term strategy for service innovation and improvement. As a result, you see an increase in downtime and extended change management timelines.
5. You are being cut out of the loop
With two-thirds of IT spend originating outside of the IT department, IT may feel like it is losing its voice in the decision-making process. As line-of-business users demand business outcomes, they are turning to cloud service providers to deliver more responsive “as-a-service” solutions. Perhaps you already feel as though non-IT spend has reached a tipping point and your IT department is losing control or visibility of your sprawling IT estate.
6. Your users are complaining more often
With the consumerisation of IT, employees have become accustomed to a slick user experience across multiple devices. This places an additional burden on IT departments to deliver intuitive, user-centric technologies that are always available on any device.
7. You are falling behind the competition
When your IT starts impacting on the customer experience it is a clear sign that something is wrong. You could be slow to market with new services or customers could be getting frustrated with outdated or incompatible systems. In a competitive landscape, these small factors can mean the difference between retaining and losing a customer.
Does any of this sound familiar? If so, then it may be time to review your IT model. Perhaps it’s time to consider outsourcing some elements of systems management; whether it be monitoring, simple break/fix activity or access to specialist skills that you only need once in a while. Occasionally tapping into a pool of expert services or outsourcing regular repetitive tasks can lift the burden on your internal resource and free up time to concentrate on innovation and process improvement.
If you recognise one of more of these scenarios, you might like to explore the benefits of managed IT services, visit: https://www.oni.co.uk/solutions-services/managed-services/