Because technology evolves quickly, one of the biggest challenges faced by CIOs and IT managers is to be adaptable in adopting new IT for the organization’s changing needs. It’s a big job though – CIOs can’t do it alone. If you’re a CIO, you’re going to need buy-in from other departments. Here are 4 strategies to get everyone else on board with your vision of good IT management:
1. Know your needs, and everyone else's
You know your job, but to support everyone else’s IT needs, you need to understand how technology improves everyone else’s job. That’s why the more efforts CIOs put into understanding the business as a whole, the bigger the revenue boost the company gets from IT processes and services. The CIO has to learn the processes put into place in each department and how they can optimize them with technology. This is especially true for departments that generate revenue. Of course, getting this deeper understanding takes time and effort, but the long term benefits are worth it.
2. Communicate in plain language
As in everything, communication is key. CIOs need to explain their vision of new IT services and equipment clearly and precisely, in language that everyone can understand. They need to leave ambiguous corporate words that are out of the mainstream or terms that have specific IT meanings like “agile” out of the conversation. And for those terms that simply can’t be broken down into easier forms, then the concepts they represent have to be demonstrated with easy examples.CIOs should talk more in terms of “cost savings” and “productivity” with easy numbers and graphics attached to them. This will help non-IT employees understand the actual value of projects proposed by the CIO.
3. Educate employees on the benefits of automation
As we’ve shown many times on this blog, companies are turning to automation in ever-greater numbers to cut costs and to increase productivity. There is anxiety about automation, but that stress will go down if people understood what business automation actually means.To help CIOs better explain the value of automation, we put together a quick list of the benefits of automation as reference (and a teaching tool):
a) Automation in Administration
- MACD, which stands for Moves, Adds, Changes, and Disconnects. It’s a type of process automation where large volumes of IT transactions can be administered within an organization with little actual time taken from IT staff.
- Under MACD, an automated system identifies when an employee, service, and/or device has moved within the organization.
- The system can record a MACD when an employee joins a company, is relocated, promoted/demoted, fired and/or retired. It can also detect when a device is ordered, replaced, or switches hands. When services are turned on or disconnected, it knows that too.
- Now, this type of transaction isn’t so hard when you have few employees. When you have many, MACD-capable systems are massive time savers, and prevent device/service orphaning. That’s why the MACD feature is one of the most powerful parts of a telecommunication and IT management system.
- Telecom and IT cost transparency can cut huge costs within an organization. By automatically sending employees regular reports on what they spend on a monthly basis and then giving them the opportunity to control their own costs and usage, costs drop!
c) Policy Enforcement
- Embedding business rules in an automated system means notifications and alerts can be automatically sent to employees who near usage limits. This drops overspending. This is proactive expense management.
- Automated policy enforcement also helps keep an eye on the company’s top 10 (or more) “big spenders". Are they justified in their resource use?
- Auditing telecom and IT inventory can be a frustrating and costly task if done manually. Once upon a time, such audits could only be done from time to time.
- With the right software automation, all CIOs can do telecom and IT audits automatically and on a regular basis to make sure that they have an accurate account of services and devices, and that they’re not paying for unused services.
- Electronic audits will turn up all discrepancies, letting you dispute bad bills.
These are pretty basic but far-reaching benefits that no one outside of IT really thinks about. Educate them on these benefits, and it’ll make it easier for them to align with your vision of business automation.
4. Leave room for flexibility in the budget
Once you’ve sold your vision to everyone else, it’s time to look at the IT budget. Remember: The technology market is always in flux – your budget has to be flexible as a result. You can’t really think in terms of resource allocation anymore (i.e., “with X budget, we can do X things”). You have to start thinking of efficiency (i.e., “What are the new trends right now that can help me cut costs?”) when it comes to planning out your budget.
You are a CIO? You want to better control your IT services and expenses?
Cimpl is leading a Canadian revolution in IT and Telecom expense Management, and is offering you automation solutions tailored to your organization’s needs! Our family of solutions include Cimpl, our signature telecom expense management software that brings together actionable data analytics and automates everyday processes. Finally, don’t miss the launch of our newest product CimplControl at CIO Synergy 2015 to see how to take back control on your assets!