IT leadership is tasked with maintaining the processes that help a business operate. These processes can range from telephone connections to computer networks, and the specific role of an IT manager or CIO varies from industry to industry. In 2013, the role is taking on even more responsibility as the technological advancements around the world have increased possibilities in ways never imagined. For instance, an IT department can have much more of an influence on overall business operations now than ever before, and it’s time for leaders to understand this and make a move.
Focus in 2013 needs to revolve around the promotion of collaboration within an IT department. The global market is too competitive to stand back and simply maintain processes. A business needs everyone on board and pushing forward in the same direction, and that includes the IT department. The days of IT simply maintaining network processes need to be a thing of the past, as IT professionals can offer more. Below are specific ways that a CIO or IT manager can increase collaboration within their department, with the goal of enhancing overall business operations.
1. Increase or introduce instant messaging
The key to collaboration is that people can throw ideas off of each other, molding differing opinions to assist a greater cause. If the systems admin can quickly chat to the CIO about a unique network troubleshooting strategy, transparency of separate knowledge will increase. This is a great feature for a department to foster in 2013, because operations are becoming more all-encompassing each day and it’s important to keep up.
An additional example is if the two data modelers for two separate sectors of the company can instantaneously chat throughout the day about their different duties over instant messenger. This continuous communication amongst data management will slowly increase consistency and awareness across the department. This maintains uniformity and department-wide expectations, with results and ideas becoming clearer to everyone.
Instant messaging is a quick way to instill collaboration within an IT department. This holds precisely true when a group chat is involved, because everyone can see what everyone else is talking about. Aside from the practicality of the service helping the processes of the workplace, communication within the office between employees can foster a more fun loving work environment. IT offices tend to have a feel of being overly serious and task oriented, and this is a way to combat that while also increasing the efficiency of production and management. Instant messaging is a great start to increase collaboration in any setting, particularly an IT workspace in 2013.
2. Start a department newsletter.
Many organizations utilise a newsletter to keep the internal workforce updated, but usually not IT departments. It’s not a bad idea, and can add a little bit of spice to a routine office environment. One specific way to carry out the plan is to have a different person write the newsletter each week, starting with the lowest level employee. What this does is teach everyone about their different job roles, and also explain how the department is impacting the company as a whole. When people start realizing how their specific tasks are affecting the overall business model, they can often feel more passionate about what they do on a daily basis.
As we have entered 2013, it’s important that each IT employee understands the impact of his or her job and likewise that of their colleagues. A newsletter can help kick start this process and inspire people to be more interested in their surroundings that fall outside of the specific daily routine. With a process-oriented career, sometimes it takes practical management decisions from a leader to instill this type of collaborative change. As the newsletter evolves, creativity grows exponentially. Innovation stems from unique insight and an IT professional has more to offer than process task and maintenance. Many of them are quality writers, speakers and communicators. It’s time to understand and promote that.
The IT industry is a powerful department that is incorporated within many businesses across America and the world. These departments are home to employees that possess multifaceted skills, and the only way to unleash them for the betterment of a business model is to increase collaboration. Without collaboration, IT professionals stay within the confines of their traditional role. Until 2013 this was enough to help keep a business afloat, but it has come time to push toward new heights and make the industry even better than it already is.
Grant Davis is a Data Modeler by day who writes by night. His passion for computers started when he discovered instant messaging in junior high school. When Grant isn't trying to climb through the computer screen he writes for BMC about ways to optimize job scheduling software .