Technology. Change. Two words so inextricably intertwined, nearing synonymous. Organizational needs are driving technology innovation and technology changes are enabling organizational innovation.
To achieve these organizational needs, today’s users want, need and expect the ability to work from anywhere, using anything and at any time.
- From Anywhere – the corporate office, home office, car, ski slope, kid’s soccer game, Fiji (we all wish this last one was us!)
- Using Anything – desktops, thin clients, tablets, smart phones
- At Any Time – work schedules based on travel, childcare, mere preference
So how does this change what IT professionals do for a living, how we do it, and when we do it?
Enter Co-IT: Combined-IT, Collaborative-IT, Cooperative-IT
What are the steps to Co-IT?
Review your Cloud Strategy against Your Organizational Vision to Support Work from Anywhere, Using Anything
The geography of technology has shifted from the mandatory, fully stocked corporate data center to many cloud-delivered options (commonly referred to “-as-a-service”, for example Software-as-a-Service or SaaS). Advances in software development, virtualization, and redundant, high speed networks make this possible.
Your organization will need to combine the realities of on premise requirements with cloud solutions to meet your from anywhere, using anything requirements. Most organizations we work with use a hybrid approach – some technology on premise and the rest in one or more clouds.
Map out where you are now, where you want to be and when, and how to get there.
Create Time in IT to Support Work at Any Time and (Bonus!) Build IT Centers of Excellence
Technology advances facilitate maximum theoretical uptime, however (spoiler alert) technology still breaks and users have issues while working. This gets in the way of your IT staff’s project deadlines, career growth, sleep and general sanity in IT.
This time is one thing we can never get back, so how to “create” it?
By identifying the things you should be doing in IT that you’re not. Then determining how to meet those challenges. For example:
Should: Provide increased uptime for users and fewer issues for IT through being more proactive while focusing on more complex tasks and projects.
The Fix: Automate monitoring of critical applications and infrastructures. Let your systems alert you when they’re getting sick, so you’re not surprised when they die. Leverage DevOps automation to perform required yet routine tasks.
Should: Get most IT work done during office hours to use off-hours for skill development and regaining the sanity of IT staff.
The Fix: Implement virtualization and cloud technologies to enable redundancy allowing preventative maintenance on production systems with minimal or no downtime.
Should: Focus IT staff on things important to the organization and their career growth. Retaining IT staff revolves around keeping them productive, happy and challenged.
The Fix: Build IT Centers of Excellence, regardless of size, to enable expertise, focus and maximize productivity. Retain core areas internally and consider collaborating with other sources where appropriate. Ask some hard questions:
- Should our IT staff be spending time on “the plumbing” (infrastructure) or critical applications and business analysis?
- Does it make sense for our IT staff to be supporting 24x7, or would they be more productive and satisfied if they didn’t need to support 2 AM helpdesk calls and weekend emergencies?
- Does our IT staff have the know-how, tools and time to build the automation and monitoring required for efficient and effective IT? If so, why haven’t we done it already?
- Are we getting those critical security patches and projects done to mitigate risks and propel the organization’s mission forward?
While any organization can embrace the idea of Co-IT, our clients engage us in the process to collaborate to get them where they want or need to be, combining forces and best-fit IT solutions to cooperatively support the organization.
More about Lewan’s IT Strategy:
"vPOSE" Best Practices for New Technology Adoption