The Face of IT

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For any business, long-term goals are unattainable without leveraging the advantages of information technology. However, IT teams in various organizations often work under shadow of other teams and departments— and hence remain detached from the rest of the team. This creates many problems, the biggest of which is the perception (and hence the use) of IT teams to handle day-to-day IT related problems.

As a result, IT teams can be seen catering and responding to a number of objections varying from complaints about unresponsiveness networks, to problems with the latest application. This prevents them from actively creating and pursuing crucial strategic initiatives needed to sustain business’s market competitiveness. Additionally, IT leaders often find themselves at an impasse whenever they pitch new ideas and organization-wide initiatives primarily because other stakeholders are not aware of their work and role.

How can IT leaders breakthrough the black box that traditional organizational hierarchy and management models has created? What can be done to ensure a consistent, timely, and relevant communication across all levels in the organization? Here, we’ll discuss three important challenges and how IT leaders can address them.

Transparency of IT

It is high time that the IT leadership in every business becomes easily accessible and highly visible. When the rest of the team will see that they have a friendly team to work with who can provide them with the relevant information for the ongoing projects, the task becomes easier, and the customer gets the best service. Consequently, it is more likely to be a regular and to refer your business to others.

IT teams should be proactive in handing out updates to the right people, and ask for feedbacks in order to improve relationships within the company.

In addition to this, the information on the priority projects should be published so that every member understands the focus and they are well prepared for any and every change ahead. Nobody likes surprises, and when it comes to the people who will be impacted by the changes, it can’t be truer.

Prioritize Challenges

There are many challenges that IT leaders face on a regular basis. The users might bring about complains about the task being too complicated, slowing of the system, or that the IT professionals are not co-operative enough.

No matter the challenge, it needs to be faced head-on, instead of just trying to solve it behind the curtains. The main problem that adds to the fire is that many IT sectors choose to become a “black box” in the company—a department to stay away from.

Although these numerous challenges may be daunting and overwhelming, there are always ways to sort them out in a proper manner.

The best way to address these challenges within the company is to take surveys and ask for feedback, and then act on tackling them. The data that you get from surveys and feedback forms is actionable data. You can work with it to improve the face of IT in your company.

Look for patterns of the most common problems and start from there. When the reforms are implemented and the rest of the teams notice, the interaction between the teams will increase, as well as the trust factor.

The Value of Customer Care

The IT department must treat every other department in the business as their internal customers. And like normal customers, customer care is dependent on the timely communication, quality of service, and the brand image created by consistently upholding certain standards of quality and care.

Customer care is the core of every business, and the best companies keep this point as their priority and deal with the tasks accordingly.

For the businesses that do not have IT as their core, for example the hospital sector with which I work, the IT departments employees do not have to deal with the patients directly. But when it comes to patient care, all departments are interlinked, and the provision of good quality services to the patient is critical, and IT departments can be proactive in upholding the standard of supporting world class patient care.

In an anecdote regarding the importance of the interlinking of departments, the President John F. Kennedy was visiting the NASA space center in the year 1962, where he observed a janitor with a broom. He walked to the man, introduced himself, and asked him what he was doing, to which the janitor responded, “I’m helping putting a man on the moon.”

No matter how small a department happens to be, every department in a company links together for the achievement of the common goal—success.

Muhammad Siddiqui, MBA

Solutions-focused IT leader with 15 years in successful design, agile development, integration and operations management within healthcare and clinical applications. Track record of producing significant business value by providing sustainable technology infrastructure services, building high performance teams and uplifting organisational capabilities through technology, communication, process optimisation, common goals and staff engagement. CLINICAL APPLICATIONS & HEALTHCARE EXPERTISE ► 15 years working with clinical applications with demonstrated expertise in healthcare information systems, business processes, clinical applications, infrastructure and electronic health record systems. ► Been involved in the evaluation, selection, acquisition, implementation, and optimization of products and solutions across 5 business divisions of a greenfield hospital build. OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE ► Hands-on leader with a track record of shaping and leading significant business change and capability uplifts within hospitals and healthcare services. ► Built high-performance teams from the ground up in ITSM, Process Management and Integration Management. Recognised for fostering interdepartmental team collaboration. ► Introduced the Agile Scrum methodology. ► Improved team creditability with the end user community by aligning Service Desk culture with the hospital’s ethos of “what is the impact on patient care”. STRATEGIC THINKER ► Successfully defined business and technology requirements and led bid/RFP process from creation to award. ► Forged strong relationships with key stakeholders CIO, COO, CHRO and CFO. ► Have produced tangible business value and created an environment for producing innovative technical solutions within a culture of accountability at Cleveland Clinic. ► Managed vendors and negotiated service delivery contracts. Led management contract, vendor and SLA compliance.

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