IT teams have a lot of responsibility today— especially considering that every modern organization is so dependent on technology. For example, Gartner recommends a ratio of 250 devices to every one IT staffer, but most IT teams are working with a ratio of 2,700 to one. And that doesn’t begin to include responsibilities such as network hardware, storage, applications, or information databases. There is a way to offer relief to overworked IT teams, though. First we identify, then eradicate the issues that keep your IT team too busy to contribute to your overall strategy.
Here are 3 challenges that contribute to the overload most IT teams face and how you can prevent them:
1: The Problem: Inadequate Systems
Break-fix IT departments will never have the time they need to strategize or contribute to organizational goals. This model is really draining on IT staff. It’s impossible to create and implement a working IT strategy when your team is constantly walking in the door to broken equipment. Fixing hardware will always be the priority; but, as long as it keeps breaking, your team will never have the time it takes to become a strategic contributor to your organization.
The Fix: It’s Time to Invest in Equipment That Works
Hardware and IT equipment are real investments. A trusted technology advisor can help you build a solution based on the actual business outcomes you are trying to achieve while complementing the equipment you already have in place. While it may seem like a good idea to cut costs on the solution and equipment, it’s really not (trust us on this one). With the right hardware and properly functioning solution, your team will have the time they need to contribute to the needs of your organization.
2: The Problem: Service Escalations
An overworked and understaffed IT support center often means a lot of escalations. The constant state of feeling overwhelmed means they’re much more likely to escalate an issue at the slightest hint that it will take more than a Band-Aid. And escalations that don’t have an efficiency plan to back them up just compound the IT team’s workload. In short, they occur because of the problem and worsen the problem, making them a painful catch-22 for your team.
The Fix: Have an Escalation Plan
You have to start with a very clear definition of a trouble ticket that requires an escalation. In addition, it’s really important to have a clear escalation plan that correlates to a customer service model and is governed by your organization’s business objectives. Less experienced staff and techs should strive to handle as many tickets as possible without involving the more experienced team members. This will free them up to contribute to strategy and business decisions.
3: The Problem: Lack of Business Principals
Technology teams (even those in the K-12 space) are contributing to huge businesses that spend millions of dollars each year. No other faction of that “business” would run without a plan. No other department would be satisfied with employees who show up to work every day prepared to wait around for things to break. Those departments have strategies in place that align with the business outcomes the organization is looking to achieve. Why should IT be any different?
The Fix: Start Contributing to Strategy
It’s time to get out of the basement and into the boardroom. If you have key players get in on the ground floor and align all projects with the objectives of the organization, you will eliminate a lot of the work mentioned above. Your equipment and services will not only align with the overall business objectives of your organization, but you’ll have a holistic solution and quality hardware, which means it won’t break all of the time. That means fewer trouble tickets leading to fewer escalations. The best news is that you just have to start with one project. Get in on the strategy once and see how it makes your life (and the lives of your IT team) so much easier.