Wednesday, June 16

Value Beyond Bits

An article in the June 7 edition of ComputerWorld discusses the IT industry's energy crisis. People are overworked and tired.
"Head count is decreasing, and workload is increasing. User expectations and regulatory requirements are expanding exponentially."
The article goes on to discuss how to re-energize IT. It specifically mentions removing negative people (yes!) and improving upon IT finances (not sure about that one).

I would add something to that short list - take a look at managed services or cloud solutions. These solutions present an opportunity to get IT professionals' heads out of the 'bits and bytes' that can really drain energy. I've been there. When you spend 4 or 8 hours focused on applying some technical fix or getting a program to work, it can be physically and mentally exhausting. Those are the parts of the IT job that many people don't enjoy. And those are precisely the aspects of the job that get handed off with SaaS and managed solutions.

By removing those annoyances and freeing IT staffers to be proactive about providing greater business value, it generates new energy and enthusiasm. Clearly though, many IT folks disagree.

Another article in the same edition discusses the issue of IT staff mistrust of cloud solutions. One IT director states:
"They flat-out asked. 'What does this mean for me and my job?'"
IT professionals are clearly concerned. I've heard it first hand. Why would I want to recommend a managed solution when that's my job.

Well, I understand the concern, but I think that viewpoint is a bit myopic. Think of car ownership. If you can offload the maintenance and upkeep of the vehicle, driving is much more fun. You can accelerate quicker, take turns tighter, brake harder, take it off road, etc. and let someone else worry about changing the oil, maintaining tire pressure and watching the treads. In my opinion, managed solutions equate to more freedom.

And the first time you (as an IT staffer) show a business manager how you can save them time or money in their job through creative use of technology, I think you'll be hooked. You'll appreciate that you were able to put your creative, problem-solving mind to work on business issues (still requiring in-depth technology knowledge) rather than being bogged down in the bits.

Just a thought.

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