Keep It Simple: Solving IT Problems Through Visibility and Communication

by Ronald Nunan on June 30, 2011

I have been involved in numerous legacy modernization projects over the past several years and noticed a common issue routinely raised.  I have heard comments to the effect that, “Using Verastream really improves our operations,” or “We can speed-up and raise our control over services needed by the business.” Unfortunately, many of these comments are closely followed by statements such as, “We don’t know how to fund this,” or “Solving this issue is not a directive.”

Ultimately, this is a common business problem. An issue that is visible to IT, but not to the business decision makers, is left unsolved. Some of the basic issues I have seen span:

  • Double data-entry that doesn’t need to happen
  • Locked-in data that exists within an enterprise application that should be shared
  • Applications not leveraged across business units because the units operate independently

Each of these scenarios was eventually solved with a Verastream service enablement project — solutions were built that removed the technology barriers and allowed business processes to operate across application boundaries.  But to pursue issues like these, IT had to plead their case and convince the organization that addressing the issue was worth the effort.

From the business decision maker’s perspective, IT sees the business doing things inefficiently by raising operational costs and simultaneously reducing services. But unless IT raises the visibility of the problem and its impact and identifies and offers a resolution, the business leaders have neither the awareness nor understanding to ask for a solution.

Situations like this should never be allowed to last. Businesses always want lower costs and better services, but what can IT do to get the business to solve issues like these?  Even when a solution can save the business money, it isn’t always easy to convince company leaders to pursue that recommendation.

The simple answer is IT needs to communicate and offer simple options to the business decision makers.  The emphasis here is on simple!

Too often system application issues are seen by IT, but being rigorous and technologically adroit, IT only offers strategic remedies, which are often big, long-term projects that scare business leaders — big projects are easy to skip. The recipe for success is simple.

Keep to simple solutions that address problems and follow a strategic theme. Projects that involve small initial investments are actionable and grow the business leaders’ trust in IT.  This doesn’t mean IT is selling out. Well thought out small projects can collectively lend themselves to a longer term or strategic IT goal.  This approach is well suited to incremental improvements within the business.

Think of your business. Every business has automation issues that could be solved.  And while we can rationalize that almost all of these issues will be solved if the long-term IT plans are carried out, these issues are often allowed to live without implementation for years on end. What would be the expense to add some appended services or a simple service enablement project to solve the problem now?

Even if the strategic plans are in place, there are always opportunities to save the business money through targeted tactical improvements. It is simply a matter of educating decision makers about the problem, viable solutions and anticipated benefits.  What are you doing to communicate areas of improvement to your business?

 

 

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