Insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. This is never truer than when dealing with IT processes that just aren’t working; insanity is never closer than at times when your company’s standard operating procedures for IT isn’t having the desired effect. But when you’ve tried everything twice (and double checked it’s not a PEBCAK issue), it may be time you changed your IT management processes. To guide you through this, we have highlighted the 5 indicators that an IT performance review is needed and a change should be implemented – for the better.
Staff complaining about slow response times and recurring issues
Negative feedback is the best indication that things needs to change. Generally, if your employees are complaining about poor tech support or IT issues, they have already attempted to amend the situation themselves and are now looking to you for action. Using the feedback from your employees and even clients to make a change that improves the situation drives transparency and lowers the threat for giving future feedback. It also improves engagement, which means a lower employee turnover and better relationship with customers.
Continual unbudgeted spending on IT products/services
If you find that your company has a limited budget for IT products or services, it could be because they see little value in paying more. Companies can fall into the habit of paying ongoing IT support fees as a broad spectrum treatment for ongoing issues. While it is important to handle these problems, it’s better to be proactive in your IT management plan. A company will always consider increasing its budget to something that they recognise as beneficial and will return their investment. In these instances, it’s important to calculate what is important to your business and what is required to perform with optimal efficiency and effectiveness. This kind of low level interest on IT management means it’s time to consider an IT performance review to understand what you really need.
Key risks not dealt with like business continuity, disaster recovery and security
Not having a contingency plan for unpredicted problems, whether caused by natural circumstances or malicious attacks, can leave a bad taste in your mouth and negative effects on your clients, employees and your wallet. Aside from the obvious, IT performance indicators are used to identify risks and act to prevent them before they negatively impact your company. It also means that your company will be more willing to take risks that could pay off well, as there is a security net in case of failure. Lastly, having control in planning for the worst means that your employees aren’t treading lightly in their role, fearing reprimand for their actions should things go wrong, or even doing the opposite because they recognise that there are no repercussions for their actions.
No IT plan, strategy or direction mapped out for organisation
Having an IT plan highlights the company’s IT focus; how to leverage organisational processes for productivity, understanding how the IT affects stakeholders and shareholders and how the resources are delegated. This knowledge is filtered through to company structure and flow; different departments may rely on other elements to work effectively. Having no IT plan, strategy or direction is akin to having no control over objectives and goals, and ways in which you plan on measuring how you stack up against them. An effective HR department must work alongside IT professionals to build a workforce that can implement the company’s strategy. Without IT integration, an organisation’s goals and mission can be left on the shelf as employees don’t feel interconnected with them.
Organisation has outgrown the IT functions maturity or skillset
If you still use the same IT software and functions that you did 5 years ago, it’s time for an IT performance review. Although you may be used to the features and function of particular IT software, it could be that something else exists that is a better suit, offering features that you weren’t aware existed. According to Microsoft, technology is used as a means to improve processes by automating them, however this devalues the real function of technology in the workplace. Technology can be used to improve the maturity of employees by maturing training, access to information and quality of information.