What should your biggest priorities be if you’re an IT professional? This is about your on-the-job priorities, not your personal ones. “Get a raise” is always a good priority in that context, but we’re not talking about that now. Rather what should you be doing to add as much value to your employer as possible. And, who knows, if you do that, you might just get a raise out of it after all.
Setting Priorities in Information Technology (IT)
You might think, “Wait a minute. I have a job to do and my department has defined my priorities for me.” That may be true, but you can still set priorities within your work. You may also be asked for input on future plans for the IT department. Even if you’re not the CTO, it’s a good idea to understand the top priorities facing the department.
Your Top IT Priorities for IT
You might think your priority in IT is to keep the company’s IT systems running. That is only partly true. IT is about making the business successful. Today’s businesses run on technology. In every imaginable area of the business, at every stage of every business process, hardware and software are making it all work. Businesses make money through smart use of IT. As an IT professional, you have an important role to play in the company’s overall profitability and strategic advantage. Any priorities you set should reflect back on this reality.
- Cut costs – This is a big one, even if it’s obvious. Businesses need IT, but they always want to spend less on it. You should make a priority of searching for places to save money. This might mean replacing capital assets (CapEx) like hardware with cloud services, which require a lower monthly outlay of cash, known as an Operating Expense (OpEx).
- Chart a course to the cloud – There’s no law that says your company has to be in the cloud, but it’s a good thing to consider. At the very least, it’s a wise priority to think about how the cloud can help your company save money and achieve its business objectives.
- Make people more productive – IT can make workers more productive, meaning they can make more money for the company in less time. Tech that helps with productivity includes things like web meeting software, collaboration tools, mobile versions of business apps and so forth.
- Make the company more profitable – There are two ways IT can help a company become more profitable: with tech that helps cut business costs and tech that helps increase revenue. One area of IT that helps with both is process automation. Automating business processes can streamline operations and enable the company to do more with fewer people. At the same time, automated processes for ordering and customer service can contribute to more loyal customers and increasing revenue.
- Keep things secure – Even if your company has a security team, you will most likely be called upon to do some of the operational aspects of security, like applying patches and security updates.
- Prepare for a disaster – Things can go wrong in IT, as we all know, badly wrong… whether it’s a hurricane of a cyber event, you will be expected to get IT back up and running as quickly as possible. Disaster Recover (DR) should be a high priority for IT. Even if you have a DR plan, make a priority of reviewing it and testing it.
MIBAR works with IT departments on prioritizing their work. To learn more, click here.