Is IT an underfunded, underappreciated element of an organization? CIO Jonathon Feldman boils down this problem in an article for InformationWeek to uncover why IT is lacking the resources and support needed to transform into a well-regarded asset.
Stages of IT Acceptance
The first imperative element to help diagnose the problem is to define what “underspending,” “normal,” and “investing” mean to an organization, but more importantly, what it means for IT. Looking to see the percentage of spending that IT actually utilizes and comparing that spending against other companies in the industry will help to define the true amount of spending IT is doing.
Time is the most precious resource, and analyzing time spent provides even more insight than simple dollar and cents. The way in which management spends time can fall in one of four stages: crisis, “hear no evil, speak no evil,” engagement, and embedding. Crisis is when IT is an insurmountable problem for the organization; a plethora of time is spent, or wasted. “Hear no evil, speak no evil” is acknowledgment of IT benefits, but the avoidance at becoming hands-on, the most detrimental of the stages. It is at this stage that funding is arduous to acquire and IT does not receive the resources to adequately serve the organization. Engagement occurs when IT is doing quite well and executives acknowledge this. They begin to integrate IT into their business decision-making and value them. Embedding then is the final stage and encompasses the complete integration between management and IT. Technology is seen as vital and is used to its capacity, causing for a better utilization of IT.
Six Ways to Get Proactive
The fault of underfunding does not entirely rest on the shoulders of management. IT leaders should play an integral role in incorporating IT’s ideas for a better organization and getting the department the funding it deserves.
In order to proactively improve the resources made readily available to IT, there are six steps that can be taken. The first step is benchmarking. This step gauges how much money is actually spent on IT and compares that percentage to other organizations. Following this, it should be ensured that IT is actually respected by the firm and communicating with them. In confirming IT’s respect, get face-to-face and communicate in person. This simple act is critical and enhances the value of the communication.
The final three steps play off of this idea of communication. Executives are busy people and it is often easier to get a hold of middle managers. These leaders have a great deal of influence with top management and can help implement plans more quickly because they are often more easily accessible. During the conversation, it is essential for everyone to understand what is being done with the resources. Additionally, amidst this conversation, asking for specific resources rather than “x” amount of money will prove more effective.
Following the culmination of these steps, things should be in order and IT should have the resources it needs and desires. If, however, IT still remains without its resources, this is a sign that perhaps the CEO does not prioritize technology, indicating that no amount of planning will resolve the problem.
You can read the original article here: http://www.informationweek.com/strategic-cio/digital-business/how-to-get-more-resources-for-it/a/d-id/1322199