How many times have you heard or said these phrases:
“Management won’t hear us until something fails”
“Outages are good”
Being part of the IT industry we are usually not heard of when things are running well, but we are on the chopping block or in high demand when something fails. Similar to many other industries like A/C repair people, plumbers, roofers etc.
This scenario needs to be changed so that all departments and management understand the reality of their systems and what we do. We can communicate this value of the IT systems to management before we have to go into “React” mode. We can explain what the system does, give reports of the usage and explain what is happening with trends of the data we provide to management and the businesses. However, this is not a one time communication. How many times have you told people that “storage is not free”. So many time when things start to slow down or fail, the amount of storage on a system may be a contributing factor. We need to keep reminding people that there is a cost to storage and that their budget needs to include costs for upgrades and additions to storage and systems.
Another way to help communicate this is to integrate the corporate objectives into the discussion. This brings the whole organization together as IT is an integral part of corporate objectives. However, I have heard people ask, “How does the IT departments goals integrate to corporate objectives?”. If we look at the scenario above when something fails, there is a cost to that. What is the cost of the financial system being down for 20 minutes due to a shared drive that ran out of space and the system locked up? That financial impact will be seen by many people and that cost affects the bottom line of the organization, not just IT or the finance department. IT’s objective of maintaining reliable systems is critical to the financial stability or the corporation. Look at the Target security breach and the cost that had on the organization. Lawsuits are expensive and loss of customers is even more expensive.
One other consideration to communicate to management is how IT looks to the business. Many times other departments see IT as just another cost. We as technical professionals along with our management need to clarify the fact that our maintenance of critical systems is a necessary factor in their departments functionality. The cost that department may pay for IT support pays for itself in preventative knowledge and proactive responses to scenarios non-IT professionals may not recognize. being proactive in clearing drive space before a system locks up or knowing that a room is very hot and a critical system will shut down when a temperature reaches a certain temperature is important.
These scenarios are just a few items that need to be communicated to management and other departments so “management will listen to us”. The value of IT and the IT knowledge are valuable factors that needs to be communicated in a way that shows the value for the business.
How Can I Help You?