THANK YOU FOR SUBSCRIBING
SABINA JANSTROM, IT DIRECTOR, DYNO NOBEL
It seems the plight of underfunding in IT is nowhere near ending. Despite the criticality of business systems, the constant threat of Cyber breaches, or the scarcity of resources, no one will give us enough money to do all the work we need to. What can we do to change the game?
The picture really is bleak and can sometimes feel overwhelming. Whether you work in pure tech or in heavy industry, it seems every part of the company and every project requires some sort of IT involvement. Not to mention keeping everything existing running and staying ahead of the now very monetized cybercrime industry. How do you keep delivering? How do you retain experienced and hardworking staff? How do you make something out of nothing?
I could draft an article about articulating the value of IT to the Business, or selling our services like an internal consulting team (pay-as-you-go arrangement of a sort), or of all the super cool tech that can save time and energy, but I believe that does not solve the fundamental issue. The basic issue I see is that we are so busy providing services, solving problems, and delivering that we do not look at ourselves critically enough.
For a group that considers themselves so good at solving business problems, we can be truly terrible at solving our own. Where is our IT process efficiency project? Where is our IT leadership mentoring program? Where is our employee training program? We will happily tell our business partners that we can help them streamline their processes and get more value out of their systems or people, but we do not have any consistent plans to do the same to ourselves.
It can be difficult to think about doing more when you are already running at or above capacity. but it is a matter of survival, take the time to develop a continuous improvement program
Technical training is a perfect example. Everyone asks, how can we allocate enough time to training (technical or otherwise) when we are so busy? Not only does it take people out of the pool of workers, but it also costs money! And if we are not undergoing massive change, surely, they can just learn on the job? What is the point of training for training’s sake? I would argue the opposite. You are missing several possible cost-saving outcomes by not investing in training your people.
1. Training is valued by employees and saves you money because you do not need to pay to recruit new people once your neglected employees inevitably leave. Take the time and quantify it.
2. What training you invest in should not be left to “personal development plans.” It should be connected to solving business problems or eliminating inefficient systems. That way, the ROI is clear and can be quantified to balance against the money spent.
I fully accept that it can be difficult to think about doing more when you are already running at or above capacity. But it is a matter of survival that you take the time to develop a continuous improvement program. Not only will your employees be more likely to stay if they can see that they can effect change in their environment, but you will be able to show your financial overlords how much return they are getting for their investment in IT. Every training $ returns $1.x, every technical automation $ returns $1.x, etc. If you consider improving your services as the minimum, then you will always stay ahead of the critics./p>
We preach benefits realization and ROI to our customers; don’t you think it is time we took a dose of our own medicine?