Updated: Feb 2
Not all business issues can be solved by your IT team. Yet, when anything goes wrong, that’s who we call. We rarely pause to ask ourselves: what can IT address, or (more importantly) what’s outside IT’s the scope of work? We often ask our IT teams to do someone else’s work, which leads to frustrations on both ends and IT not getting the credit they deserve. IT knows what to do with servers, code, and acronyms to remotely fix issues or pull up lost folders for novice daily users.
The IT service que is always backed up and that is one thing that hasn’t changed during the pandemic. They are constantly bombarded with all types of questions and expectations ranging from fixing a computer that won’t start to eliminating a potential security threat to creating a whole new user experience. A lot of these topics are within an IT team’s scope, but a lot of them are not. And successful businesses have the tools in place to discern the difference.
IT And Operations — which is which?
It may be news to you that everything technology-related in your business isn’t under the scope of your IT team; that's a common misconception. Because they are the managers of technology, many assume they also create it, but that is not the case. To prevent burnout and increase overall efficiency, it is important to understand which projects belong to IT and which belong to the Operations team. Generally, IT’s focus is supporting your company’s technology so that it is safe and updated, while Operations’ job is to create and implement the right software for your company, streamline workflows, and train employees on how to use the technology. Although they are closely related, it’s important to know which projects and issues fall under which team to develop a solution that will effectively resolve the issue. Your IT team may take the time to train you on how to use new technology, but it shouldn’t be expected of them. They are performing many tasks to keep you up and running, like maintaining systems, defending against cyber-attacks, and backing up important information.
Advanced technology teams provide services that will support your business and keep your systems running smoothly. Not every outsourced IT managed team provides specialized services, but implementing specialized services like a virtual chief information officer (vCIO) offers clients a dedicated account manager to help them with their larger IT strategy. vCIOs can assist in budgeting, cyber-safety, identifying gaps and vulnerabilities in your network, and resolving recurring tech issues that may be symptomatic of larger issues. These services do not fall under the Operations team. Why would you need a vCIO? They will help you increase your overall efficiencies and, in some cases, train users on new technologies. Often, vCIOs can help you remove any roadblocks hindering your team's ability to work.
Where does operations fit in all of this?
Operations is incredibly important in terms of fixing what isn’t working outside of the IT scope and addressing customer journey issues. When it comes to selecting the right technology, cleaning up your work flows or realigning your team, these undertakings can be overwhelming. Where do you even start when looking to select technology that’s right for your business? Choosing software that will address your needs, automating manual processes, and streamlining workflows are vital in driving down costs while increasing efficiency. In order to do this, you need to begin by combing through your company’s processes and engaging with employees to learn where gaps in the technology and workflows are occurring.
Once problem areas are identified, it is important to choose a software or create a user experience that best suits the individual needs of your company.
This is where an Operations technology team comes in to implement or create the software you need. Once implemented, it is important to mitigate job insecurity and technological literacy. Retrain/upskill current internal or outsourced employees so they can make use of and feel good about the new technology and workflow environment.
Process and technology changes are very difficult to address without the help of a professional because it is important to know what your business needs are, your business requirements are, and what technology will need to communicate with one another. Making the wrong decision can be an expensive mistake.
Do you know you need a process or software change, but have no idea how to go about it? Let us help. We have your best interests in mind and are committed to helping you get to where you want to go. We really appreciate our partners; they specialize in pertinent areas of a business that keep the business running efficiently and safe.
About the Authors:
Cornerstone Paradigm Consulting, LLC is an industry-agnostic business operations consulting firm whose mission is to transform the way you do business.
RCS Professional Services is an IT Managed Service Provider that is committed to making technology work for your business.