What’s your overarching strategic goal for IT this year? In the next few blog posts, we’re going to be looking at some of the most common goals our partner CIOs have: enhancing innovation, generating closer cohesion with the rest of the company and increasing IT transparency.
In today’s IT departments, innovation isn’t just about getting the most up-to-date device fleet and hoping that your productivity and success will increase: it’s about taking the time to examine your current processes and charting out a plan for improvement that makes smart use of technology as well as your employees. Read on for our thoughts on how you can help enhance innovation in your department.
Take care of fundamentals
If you don’t have a solid idea of what kinds of innovation you’re looking to build, you’re not going to be able to make meaningful changes to your department that enhance innovation, increase your efficiency and get you up-to-speed with the latest technologies. Take some time to reflect: what does innovation actually look like to you, personally, and how may that be different than what your CEO and the rest of your C-Suite sees innovation? What might your company look like with an innovative IT department? What’s in your way of getting there?
While many CIOs are looking to be more innovative, their ideas of how to get there are going to be very different, depending on their own company’s current situations. Because of this, it’s essential that you take stock of your strengths and weaknesses and consider how they’ll influence your innovation strategy. Before you start getting ahead, you need to stop any bleeding that may be occurring in your department, get buy-in (and a higher budget!) from your C-Suite and prepare your staff for any changes that may be on the horizon.
Focus on necessity
Innovation can’t exist in a vacuum: instead, you need to be sure you’re investing in areas that will help other departments reach their goals as well. Connect with your counterparts in marketing, operations, sales and human resources to see what they need from IT in order to make their processes run more smoothly, and take this into consideration when you decide what new technologies and processes to invest in. Ensure your innovation measures actually solve problems and expedite great processes—and they’re not just there for innovation’s sake.
Think process as well as product
Innovation doesn’t just mean investing in new, top-of-the-line devices. It also includes streamlining your processes so that everyone in your department is empowered to work to the best of their abilities every day. Encourage an active culture of accountability in your IT department, where people feel able to discuss their ideas for improving work with those in management. You’ll not only get valuable insight from your employees on how to improve work at every level, but you’ll gain their trust and improve department morale.
It’s never a bad time to start thinking about how to make your department more innovative. If you’re looking for a place to start, we’d recommend taking a look at your current printing processes and seeing if you can optimize those for greater success. Check out our eBook, 10 Steps to Finding Your True Printing Costs, for help getting started.