Bring IT out of the shadows

By-taking-manual-processes-off-their-plates-IT-personnel-can-tackle-more-impactful-pursuits_1242_575674_0_14090468_500IT has taken a lot of hits in recent years as enterprise users continue to question the department’s worth. Frustrations over service delivery and the procurement of hardware and other assets have boiled over to the point that IT is frequently called “the department of no.” A number of industry observers have even suggested that businesses move traditionally tech-based pursuits to other areas of the enterprise. Business 2 Community contributor Rick Whittington, for instance, recently argued that companies should avoid having IT oversee Web design projects, stating that other personnel would be more qualified to handle these needs. Specifically, marketers are more attune to the end user to create an effective layout and interface.

ZDNet contributor Matt Baxter-Reynolds also noted that today’s enterprises are filled with employees capable of taking on a tech-based project. Baxter-Reynolds explained that while IT personnel still retain unparalleled knowledge and technical skill, they often lack a proper understanding of what the end user is looking for in a new solution. Enterprise members who moonlight with technical projects, meanwhile, more readily appreciate the needs of a business software audience.

The IT department’s reputation could use some rehabbing as these views may persist if personnel do not make an attempt to establish their value within the enterprise. One of the factors preventing IT members from taking a more proactive role in business operations is a lack of time. Whittington conceded that projects such as designing a website are typically small potatoes compared with some of the more intensive processes IT employees are asked to accomplish.

“Adding a web design project to the to-do list of a group of IT professionals isn’t an appropriate use of their time because they’re concerned with projects of their own,” Whittington wrote. “It takes all they’ve got to monitor, manage and meet their own goals, and a website redesign project isn’t the right fit for their time.”

Eliminate manual IT processes

Many of these tasks involve overseeing the critical jobstreams and managing tasks to avoid bottlenecks that could lead to service disruptions. As important as workflow management is, IT skills could be better deployed elsewhere. Manually launching tasks is a time-consuming and arduous process, meaning all the skill and technical expertise that has been amassed in an IT department may be going to waste.

Businesses can free up IT members and give them more time to tackle engaging projects by incorporating high-quality workload automation tools. Many organizations, including the Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union, have found that by partnering with SMA Solutions and deploying its OpCon process automation device, they can eliminate the need for manual oversight.

“We had an operator transfer to another unit within the credit union, but found it was not necessary to replace him due to the automation put in place with OpCon,” said PSECU systems manager Matt Kissinger. “The elimination of a staffed shift in the operations has resulted directly in additional resources being assigned to our e-services team.”