Ten years ago we thought we were in the midst of a digital revolution. But many would argue, if that was revolution, what we are in now is a total transformation. Information technology is more integral to competitive advantage and organisational success than it ever has been in the history of business. As a result companies are introducing an increasing number of digital projects, across a variety of different platforms—meaning IT Directors and their teams are having to juggle an unprecedented amount of work.
IT Directors need to have robust processes in place to identify potential problems that may occur within their projects, and to manage budgets and resources effectively. They also need real-time visibility into every IT-related undertaking so that they are able to keep things on track, and measure progress against organisational goals.
It is overwhelming just thinking about it.
But whether you are an IT manager of an SME, IT Director of a large company or CIO of a multinational corporation, there are two fundamental questions you can ask yourself that should help.
Question 1: Do I know what all the IT related projects are in my business?
With the rise of cloud, all sorts of departments now get involved with the procurement of IT services, leading often to the IT Director not having control, oversight or even awareness of new IT-related projects, particularly when they are in the early stages and still held onto by the team that thought them up.
Yet all IT-related projects need coordination and top-level steering. Sometimes people driving progress on a particular project lose sense of the wider business perspective, or different departments within the same business could be keen to procure IT services without considering other areas of the business—things with the IT Director has to guard against.
This is why IT Directors need to have a central view of all IT project activity, and a process by which all members of the business (from marketing through to operations) can log what projects are happening and their core purpose. By having this visibility, IT Directors can identify when projects may be veering off in the wrong direction.
Question 2: Are my projects running to schedule and budget?
It sounds obvious, and you may think you know what is happening and how much it is costing, whether it is updating a website or re-routing an internal network. But if you have someone else managing the project (either internally, or an external IT company) there may be delays and costs you are unaware of unless you are checking in constantly.
If projects don’t stick to the budget agreed at the outset, spending could outstrip the funds available and the IT department might not have enough to cover basic IT services, i.e. total disaster.
The solution is for IT Directors is to take the initiative. Find, create or develop a way to compare the progress of different projects in real-time and ensure that teams proactively provide updates as they work. Traditional paper-based updates or regular meetings might only take place once a week, meaning the information at hand could well be out of date when the IT Director asks for it. Or worse, it could detail a problem that requires urgent attention, but is not flagged until a report is read several days later.
BTA is a London-based managed service provider that offers IT support and solutions to IT Directors, Managers and CIOs. BTA specialises in outsourced IT, co-sourced IT, cloud solutions, network upgrades & refreshes, business continuity / disaster recovery, security services, hardware & software, and internet services. For more information on project work, IT Director support or complete outsourced IT, email email@example.com or give us a call today.