Sometimes facing the enemy within is the hardest fight of all. Jonathon Feldman helps us to understand in his article that although IT can and does fail businesses at times, IT is just as good at failing itself. He breaks down these failings into three categories:
1. We fail to automate IT.
2. We don’t ask our business colleagues for help.
3. We fail to report what we do.
With regard to the first item, big IT tasks tend to become automated while the smaller nuts-and-bolts tasks like resetting passwords and clearing browser cache are left to be done laboriously by hand. Feldman thinks this occurs because automating small tasks does not yield as obvious and large a return on investment, and he wonders if automating several small tasks might add up to the same payback as automating one big task.
When it comes to the second failing, it is sometimes easy to forget that a seemingly impossible workload becomes much more manageable when divvied up appropriately. The right attitude is not to ask for less work but to find people to help make that work doable, as well as be upfront about what resources will be required to do it. Feldman says new companies especially should be thrilled if they are in a position where this even happens, as more big projects means more opportunity for big growth.
The final failing echoes a disturbing number in IT, as only 39% of business technology pros outline service metrics according to a survey referenced in the article. Feldman is not enthused:
The problem is that a lot of IT folks look at ongoing reporting as a dog-and-pony show, but that’s simply not true. It’s a great way to consolidate the good, the bad and the ugly — celebrate success and raise morale; adjust and fix things that aren’t going so well; and remind colleagues just how much work we’re doing on their behalf. Maybe if we reminded our colleagues what we do for them on a more regular basis, they’d be more understanding about our project load. And maybe they would offer some fresh ideas on how to fix some of our challenges.
Like a virus, these IT failings start small and innocuous and grow into a problem you never saw coming, but thanks to Feldman, now you have seen it coming! Scrub hard, address the wounds, and see to it that your IT is hearty inside and out.