Every business talks about their IT department, or person, but how often do we really take a moment to consider what that department’s (or person’s) job really is.
“It’s to fix the computers!”, I hear you saying in your head. But that’s a pretty minor function of IT and not really where the value is. That’s like saying that the attorney’s job is to “organize paperwork”, which of course they do, but that isn’t what you pay them for.
IT does a lot of things, and should be extremely core to your business. IT has to understand business needs and processes and design information systems that support, and protect, those needs. IT has to do complicated cost and risk analysis to know when you should be spending, and when to be saving. IT has to understand your business, and its finances, to know what systems will benefit you best. IT handles the most important aspects of security for your business. IT oversees much of the most important business purchasing. IT has to protect the business from sales people, and marketing. IT has to apply math and logic to business processes; take that which is conceptual and make it real. IT must also combine sweeping technical and business knowledge and apply it to current, real world market products and techniques.
Sure, in doing all these things IT tends to touch the computers and fix things when they break, but these tasks are not the ones that gives IT its value. We must remember to keep perspective that these are not the tasks that create the need for IT. IT forms a core of our business, it builds our infrastructures, it keeps us safe, it is involved in every aspect of the business.
How we view and treat our IT people or department have a big impact on the ability for IT to make us efficient, empowered, and competitive. It’s time to move from viewing IT as “the computer guy” to “the key business oversight department that oversees infrastructure, security, and business enablement.”