As the head of IT, you make sure your company works. Every computer issue, cloud storage problem, security breach and paper jam falls under your jurisdiction, so you need to be on top of every tech issue. And you’re probably great at your job—but do others in your company actually understand what IT does?
Increasing transparency by communicating how business services are being supported on a tactical and strategic level is crucial to your success. When you take meaningful steps to increase transparency into what IT does and how you do it, you demonstrate your strategic value, set expectations inside and outside of the department and increase company cohesion. If you’re looking to increase IT transparency, here are a few areas to focus on:
Is there anything more frustrating than going to a restaurant, placing your order, and then waiting (and waiting and waiting) for your food—and not knowing when you’re going to get it? For many, the only thing that comes close is submitting an IT ticket and not knowing when they’re going to get assistance.
You should have data on how long it takes to close a service request, so use it to let people know how long it will be before they can expect IT assistance. An example of a company doing this well is KLM, who uses their Twitter page to broadcast how long anyone with a question can expect to wait before receiving an answer. While you don’t need to open your own IT department social media accounts to broadcast wait time, you should still take a few lessons from this: when you provide an estimated wait time and make it dynamic (not just “we expect to get back to you within the hour” year-round!) you’ll start to see happier, more informed employees.
Make every report meaningful
When you’re looking to increase IT transparency, you need to make sure you’re backing up your work with numbers. Sharing your metrics reports with other department heads is a key way to help them understand your KPIs, department efficiency, overall costs and how all of those affect them. Go above and beyond by including industry averages as comparison as well as a list of your current efforts to increase efficiency, and what tactics from other departments affect your ability to do so.
Make these reports available to those who are interested, so that you’re including other departments in the conversation around IT. When you give them the information on how their tactics impact IT—and vice versa—you’re better able to work together to inform strategic decisions.
The data on your print processes is essential to include in these reports. But are you really tracking your print costs and data? Check out our eBook, 10 Steps to Finding Your True Printing Costs, in order to take stock of the true nature of printing at your company.
Photo credit: WOCinTech Chat via Flickr Creative Commons 2.0