The Information Technology department has often been seen as a cost centre, and sometimes likened to a black hole – where money goes in, but little of value seems to come out. Many CIOs and IT managers have struggled with this view for a while and have few ideas on how to change it.
What many of these IT leaders do wrong is to focus on cost-cutting rather than focus on ways of growing the business. The CEO and other executives are interested in growth and will be more that willing to hear ideas on how IT can help them achieve that goal.
Here are some ideas on how you can help grow the business and, at the same time, bring transform the business.
- Seek to grow revenue, not cut costs. Think about how additional revenue can come into the business using IT. Can you help marketing better analyze sales data to improve their efforts? Can adding automated workflows reduce turnaround times from sale to delivery?
- Find ways to do more with what you have and not necessarily reducing what you already have. How can you optimize space used? How about increasing the efficiency of the sales team? Using chain management software, one company was able to increase the output of their plant by optimizing orders of raw materials to better utilize the existing storage space.
- Introduce e-collaboration throughout the company. Studies have shown that collaboration with both direct and indirect ties improves productivity and innovation in firms. Some companies already have such infrastructure in place, such as Microsoft SharePoint, but fail to utilise the software to its maximum potential, settling for a nice intranet web site rather than a real collaborative platform for Wikis, forums and information sharing.
- Increase value to other decision-makers by making data available in a more friendly way. Instead of having reports generated in usual spreadsheets, consider using visuals instead of tables for example, or automate trending to see the ups and downs. Data in a more visualised display is always more easily understood, which explains the popularity with infographics.
This is list is not exhaustive, but it’s just to get you started.
You won’t find success overnight, but formulate a strategy with one goal, perhaps two, and execute the relevant tasks to reach that goal. You will find that IT would be much more valued than before.