While the value of IT to a business is no longer questioned, it has not always been like that. IT has undergone a transformation in the business world and has evolved primarily by aligning itself with business strategies. IT was not always an influencer.
Operating on the fringes of business strategy, it was seen as a transactional department that was unresponsive to business dynamics. IT was mainlined into the business stream by primarily and exclusively being integrated into the operations’ side and was seen as having no dimensional value. IT services had started out as a reductionistic and uninspiring department that was limited to ensuring that mainframe technologies were operational and that if there was a slowdown or downtime, an IT engineer would troubleshoot and remediate. IT services were not managed or given high-priority to business managers. In a nutshell, IT followed trends and did not set them because, at it’s core, it was a stand-alone department that was incapable of changing how business was done.
The watershed moment came when CEOs and COOs started to realize that the insights and information that IT provided could be used to realign the fault-lines of business limitations. It became a source of empowerment and was able to transform itself from a standalone department, with little-to-zero ability to spill-over into other facets of business and help increase efficiencies, accountability and transparency. In short, IT projects were now being treated as business projects, where the acceleration potential of IT and the flexibility it provided, could produce transformative and revolutionary business changes that result in enterprise-wide changes.
On the front-lines of business change, IT provided key performance indicators that provided tangible and real cost-savings value that extended value to customers, partners and the workforce – especially in matters of IT support. From keying-in on specific improvement efforts, IT can really help offer technology-specific answers to everyday workflow problems and reverse the failure-to-optimize deadlock that plagues small business and medium-sized enterprises. IT becomes a springboard that can transcend its own technological borders and scope and help spur innovation and creativity by extending beyond its own parameters. This ability to offer itself as a source of innovation and break a cyclical line of decision-making, which results in tunnel-vision, can also help continuously breed out-of-the-box solutions that can drive a pathway to helping you reach new targets.
Small business intuitively equates technology with high, backbreaking costs and this belief festers in the psyche. This line of thinking forces SMBs to look outside the walls of technology to spark innovation and accelerate growth. The problem with looking outwardly to draw inspiration for change is that external forces, without having to, cannot organically take deep-root. This alienates your business departments and resources from one another, and does not align business goals because it has changed the dynamics. Incorporating IT value means that you have a vibrant, dynamic and self-generating source that will continue to breed innovation across multiple lines. IT is just more than technology and more than the engineers and technicians manage it, it is a source of innovation that can propel and drive enterprise-wide changes and adds-value to the business function by infusing game-changing drivers.