Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Business as usual is an opportunity - eating monster


If you had to make the choice between innovation and business as usual, I’m willing to bet that 99.99% of you would plump for innovation. So why is it that businesses spend so much time fire-fighting and so little time being innovative?  For most businesses the answer is ‘because we have to.’ Systems will always need updating and fixing and things will always go wrong and you need to fix them, servers fall over, disks crash and users – bless them – get a little confused and accidentally delete things they shouldn’t or forget their password.

Unfortunately most businesses can’t afford the luxury of having dedicated people on standby should a server fall over or an application crash or a price needs changing on the website. The consequence of this is your IT department and the development teams get called off the new revenue generating projects to deal with the crashes and the problems.  In a nutshell, business as usual is a great big opportunity-eating monster.

By and large IT departments were not created to fix old applications, mend failing hardware or to answer the dumb-ass support questions of the rest of the business. They’re there to serve the business, creating IT solutions, making the business more efficient and to bring in new revenue. Alas over the years this role has been forgotten and instead the IT departments now spend their time waiting on business as usual and attending to her every need, and she’s a demanding customer.

So what can a business do to improve the situation? The answer is to give the business as usual problem to someone else better suited to deal with it and to make sure that when you build the applications they’re built and managed properly, and that the people fixing the problems are capable of fixing the problems.

A report by analysts IDC showed that experts ie trained IT professionals with certification spent far less time on business as usual, and were able to spend more time on being innovative. According to the survey, experts in archiving and retrieval teams spent 28% less time fixing problems, data backup and recovery experts spent 21% less time fixing problems and security experts had 20% more time to spend helping end users.

It’s a no-brainer.  If you are being swamped by business as usual then get an expert to handle the jobs, either in-house or in the cloud, or send your IT and business teams on some training courses and set your IT team free to become revenue generators and not a business overhead.

About the Author:
Stefano is the co-founder and head of strategy education at Firebrand Training. He has 20 years experience in IT operations and services support, and worked in financial markets supporting IT infrastructures.