How Should Your Organization Integrate IT Into Its Core Business Model?
If your organization doesn't work in the technology sector, should you consider your IT department a core part of your organization structure? It's tempting to view your IT needs as secondary to your primary business operations, but this can be a costly mistake for many companies. In the modern world, technology goes hand-in-hand with nearly every industry.
Understanding the IT-Business Connection
Whether your core business is manufacturing widgets, selling them to consumers, or providing financial services to widget makers and sellers, your employees use technology to help achieve your critical business objectives. The typical modern workplace includes computers at nearly every workstation because technology ultimately makes employees better, more efficient team members.
Despite this critical role, it's easy to view your technology support staff as separate from your organization's business side. Under this model, your core employees use technology until it breaks or fails, and then your IT staff steps in to solve the problem before vanishing again. Unfortunately, this approach can often lead to inefficiency on both sides of the divide.
Recognizing Problems With Misaligned IT and Business Staff
The core issue with creating a strong division between core employees and IT employees is that it limits your IT department's ability to support critical business goals. When your IT staff's only role is to fix problems, they will fail to understand how technology supports your business operations. IT employees can fix acute issues, but they will have more difficulty recognizing problems with technology usage.
If you find that your employees routinely complain about their technology being too challenging to use or too obscure, then your organization may be suffering from this type of misalignment. Since you aren't utilizing your IT staff to accomplish your business goals, your technology isn't working for the employees whose job it is to pursue those goals.
Restoring Your IT-Business Alignment
Bringing alignment to an organization with a culture that divides its IT and business sides can be challenging. Reducing "siloing" by improving inter-department communication is an excellent place to start, but it's only a first step. In many cases, you may need to consider ways to alter your organization's culture to encourage more collaboration between technical and non-technical employees.
Many organizations also choose to bring in consultants or outsourced IT support with more experience. Outside help can encourage your employees to think in new ways and ultimately help align your IT department with your critical business needs. Taking this step can improve your business by reducing your IT department's inefficiency and improving how your other employees interact with technology.
While these problems may be more severe for some companies, every business can improve by looking for ways to integrate its IT and business units. Aligning all of your employees towards the same business goals is an excellent way to enhance efficiency and help make everyone feel like an essential part of the team.
Contact a business IT company to learn more.