Today we have a post from our guest blogger, Shirin Elkoshairi of ColoAdvisor
Businesses sometimes make short-sighted decisions to boost profitability at the cost of customer service. It’s the age old dilemma of the tactical vs strategic. Tactical moves without an overarching strategy only work for so long before they all crumble.
This somber intro reminds me of the CIO of today tasked with turning IT into a strategic advantage. Once on-board, they find themselves pulled into the daily grind that is IT operations. This is a move into the tactical and prevents real improvement to the business.
Alternatively, when disaster strikes, businesses switch into high gear. Decisions, budgets and plans materialize and progress can be amazing. What if there was a way to create urgency around stagnant IT systems as if it were a disaster? With the right metrics on hand, can you can you calculate costs of not making a change, thus creating the urgency to execute?
To move from Tactical to Strategic I’d take the following steps:
1. Absolve my IT team of anything they don’t excel at. This is usually due to a lack of resources and not competence – so no blame on the team. Outsourcing infrastructure, CRM and collaboration applications can be low hanging fruit.
2. Measure loses due to poor systems in actual dollars using this example:
“We lose $23.00 per order because we cannot upsell clients during checkout.” Drives home your point much stronger than disparaging the current online store.
3. Bring in outside help. It’s not competence, it’s a fresh view into old problems that can break through log jams. Specialists are great to have available for short-term engagements.
4. Cut, merge or mothball any application possible to reduce the draw on precious resources.
5. Begin work on a dream 10 year IT plan with costs and potential ROI built into the plan each year.
6. Remind everyone that your competitors are going to make their IT a competitive advantage.
7. Track your time. Deal with the day to day tactical but know how many hours per day you are spending on it. Note what you could be fixing if you had the resources to do it right.
8. Take your newest hire and rather than putting them in the line of fire, have them work on an aspect of the “dream” plan.
9. Ask CIOs from other firms to give you a tour of their systems. This may spark creativity.
10. Shed your inhibitions. If you love Microsoft, at least entertain an open source alternative. If you love open source but Microsoft has the right solution for an app, give it the proper review as well.
11. Speak to a service provider or a VAR about best practices in problem areas. Even if you aren’t ready to buy, they will give you great advice in hopes of earning your business in the future.
Our world, as it moves into 2016, is always pushing us from the strategic to the tactical. Once finished with the tactical items of the day, switch over to the strategic ones for better success. Sign up for a free IT architecture review today to see what quick wins can be had with the NYI engineering team. Contact NYI today.
About the author: Shirin believes that outstanding IT is no longer an option for business success in this tech age. He works with clients to ensure that they are gaining as much scale as possible from cloud service providers like NYI.
Photo credit: https://flic.kr/p/d8y4tS