It is more important than ever to make sure your organization is as agile and efficient as possible, and your IT department is no exception. Here are a few examples of how you can make sure your business is doing that.
1. Self-Service Support Desk
Conserving resources often means employee or customer dissatisfaction. No one likes it when a convenience is taken away, but when it comes to Self-Service Tech Support, you’re actually adding convenience to the customer or employee experience. According to Forrester 72% of US online consumers prefer to use a company's website to get answers to their questions rather than contact companies via telephone or email. Unfortunately, most IT Departments are stretched thin and are often unable to respond to support tickets as quickly as the end user may desire, so having a self-service help desk can increase both employee productivity and satisfaction. No one likes to wait for answers.
2. Renegotiate With Vendors
Whether it’s with your ISP, telecom, or various other vendors - it’s a good practice to renegotiate services early and often. Not only will you uncover areas that you can reduce cost, but it will give you a chance to shop for options that may now be a better fit for your organization. Think about the last time you reevaluated some of your business solutions. If you can’t recall the last conversation you had with a vendor, then it’s probably time to reevaluate that solution.
“Solution creep” is a real problem in many organizations, and IT departments are far from an exception. No organization intends on having four solutions for one problem, but often that is the case - more so now than ever with the popularization of SaaS solutions.
3. Listen to Your Employees
The most successful organizations have one thing in common: they communicate well. In a perfect world, employees would speak up and tell management if there was a certain solution that could be eliminated to cut costs, but this isn’t a perfect world. Frequently employees will just assume someone else is getting a lot of value out of a solution that they don’t see the value in, so they won’t bother saying anything. Sometimes something is purchased by a predecessor and the current user doesn’t want to offend anyone by bringing up that it’s no longer useful because they’re not sure who exactly implemented it. Open the lines of communication by frequently including employees when you reevaluate SaaS products and other solutions. Additionally, end-users are very well aware of solutions that may be missing from their “tool-box”. Be open to suggestions, as there may be something out there that could save the business money.
4. Spend Less Time Firefighting and More Time Planning
Senior level IT employees need to spend more time planning the road ahead rather than constantly being pulled into routine firefighting. It’s easy to lose focus on what needs to be planned for the future when dealing with problems in the present. If your department doesn’t have the manpower to deal with routine problems, then you have a big problem. It shouldn’t have to be said, but you have to spend money to make money, or in this case, save money.
5. Get Out of the Network Business
Most businesses today have a relatively complex network in house, whether it was planned that way or not. As business tech evolves, so does the network. As the network evolves so does the cost of maintaining and evolving it. If your organization didn’t intend to be in the network business, you should get out of it. Focus on your actual goals and let a 3rd party ITaaS provider handle your network.
6. Understand the ROI of Your IT Department
For too long IT Departments have been viewed as a business necessity rather than a business advantage. What organizations are beginning to understand is that IT departments can and should be measured in terms of increased transactions and higher rates of customer satisfaction. The better your IT department performs the better your customer facing employees will perform, enabling them to deliver a faster and better customer experience.
7. Plan For Growth
As previously stated, when your organization grows so will your need for increased manpower as well as hardware. If you’re unable to invest in additional manpower or hardware, hiring an ITaaS provider is a good option, as it will allow your IT Infrastructure to grow at the same rate as the rest of your organization. If you get out ahead of anticipated growth, you’ll reduce the amount of time lost on trying to play catch up once new demands arise.