By Chris Claudio
As a part of our involvement in the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce, I recently spoke at the fourth installment of our technology series on the topic of “Expectations for Technology in Your Organization.”

As a recovering “IT guy,” I am passionate about changing the way technology is not only viewed, but how it is fully leveraged in organizations.

IT has evolved tremendously in the past decade. There is a new relationship between IT and “the business,” and IT strategic planning is no longer optional. IT used to be an investment that companies were forced to make rather than a strategic focus that could be used to improve their business. IT is now a strategic requirement/asset in many organizations, and CIOs and CFOs are expected to drive budgets around IT investments.

Additionally, technology for many organizations is increasingly a competitive advantage. Many organizations use technology to stand out and differentiate themselves against their competitors. Imagine operating where intelligent access to key data points or measures allows you to proactively make decisions across all facets of your business. IT helps organizations and leaders make decisions based on data rather than intuition.

Here are the four major pillars that make IT support successful within your business:

  1. Budget — Have a business conversation with your IT team. With your IT support, create clear objectives and initiatives that all revolve around your budget and fit into your business plan. Having this conversation with your IT team not only provides more clarity, it also gives IT the ability to prioritize how to best execute against their budget.
  1. Deliverables — Require and measure expectations and deliverables from IT leadership and support staff or technology partners. Providing a clear list of these requirements will foster a much more collaborative relationship with IT, as expectations are defined and understood.
  1. Expectations — Provide expectations for all end users, especially leadership. Providing clear knowledge around what is to be expected across technology changes, upgrades, migrations, etc., fosters better communication and understanding of what IT is doing.
  1. Best practices — It is highly unlikely that any initiative IT is undertaking has not been done elsewhere and more than likely documented. From these collective experiences, best practices and lessons learned are born. As a matter of protocol, these best practices should be adopted as part of the process around delivering IT projects.

These four pillars are crucial to a healthy business/IT relationship. If you don’t feel like you are getting this kind of support from your IT provider, then it’s time for a serious conversation about the strategic role IT plays in your organization.

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