Published on July 28th, 2013 | by Idania.Silvia0
How Does Your Business Solve a Strategic IT Issue
WIth the increasing reliance by businesses on information technology, and the growing complexity of desktops, tablets, networks, the cloud and applications, related problems are on the rise as well. Some of these are of no consequence, often just user error. Others are more alarming, and can threaten to bring down a company’s entire information infrastructure.
How to deal with problems like these is often the subject of water cooler talk within companies, and on a large scale, entire conferences are dedicated to IT problem solving and those with masters in cyber security.
While the easiest path, if you have a full-time IT person or staff, may be to refer it on them, turn a blind eye (and ear) and hope for the best. If you don’t have a staffer, hiring a consultant, or sometimes, if your hardware or app is under warranty or service contract you can get those people to survey the situation and make recommendations.
But often company management is faced with having to solve the problem of plotting a course on how to achieve the strategic objective or solve the original problem. For that, you need to have a company policy, practice, or procedure that you can turn to for jump starting the process.
Some companies use the ‘divide and conquer’ strategy. Works in battle, doesn’t it? And you’re doing battle against your IT setup! The divide and conquer strategy involves breaking the large problem into several, smaller, manageable problems to solve. That way it doesn’t seem like the sky is falling, but rather that there is some uncomfortable precipitation that has to be dealt with.
The smaller decisions might be as simple as 1) Is this problem critical enough to interfere with company operations; 2) Can the problem be fixed in-house; 3) If not, do we have a reputable contractor that we have used in the past; or 4) Would it be easier to just purchase all new hardware or apps, is that workable? Once these questions are answered, you can look at the larger problem.
A hard lesson learned for many small companies and start-ups, is to have to retrofit hardware and apps into a company that is growing faster than its resources. Many experts believe it is prudent to install systems from day one that are either scalable or capable of supporting a much larger company. Along with that process, consider keeping a company journal of IT problems as a kind of road map for the future. When a problem crops up, look back through the journal and see how it was solved before. It might not be the ideal solution this time, but it will provide you with a solid starting point for solving the problem. Document the new process as well.
In the end, strategic IT problems can cease to be a problem, with forward thinking about the growth needs of the company, and adequate capital expenditure planning and budgeting. It is always better not to have problems to begin with if they can be avoided.