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February 08, 2013
By TEKsystems


Every business strives to achieve maximum efficiency and effectiveness. This is obviously a complex, multifaceted endeavor, but there are certain rules of thumb that apply to every organization, regardless of industry and size.

Of these, one of the most critical is that firms leverage available resources to the greatest possible effect. Any resource that is not utilized to the maximum is essentially a drain on the company, hurting the bottom line and making it difficult for the organization to establish itself as a leader in its given industry.

Sometimes, this can be quite a challenge, as it is difficult to identify inefficiencies and then make progress toward correcting them. However, there are a number of basic options available that many firms could, yet do not, take advantage of.

For example, many companies could enjoy much greater benefits by more effectively utilizing their IT departments. To this end, decision-makers should take steps to better incorporate the IT department into the greater organization, and to confer with IT professionals when making a variety of company decisions.

IT in the loop
This may seem simple, and to an extent it is, but it is also a step that many companies simply overlook. In many decision-makers' eyes, the IT department handles IT services and that's it.

This is an unduly limited, and in some ways antiquated, attitude to hold. In the past, the IT department's potential role was less diversified than it is today. IT was relatively isolated, and would respond to support tickets and individual requests, compile reports as needed and perform other operations without interacting too directly with the rest of the company.

This is no longer the standard state of affairs. Employees in virtually every department now utilize a wider range of technologies on a regular basis as a part of their basic job functions. Consequently, the IT department now holds a much more prominent position within the organization. As such, firms need to take steps to integrate IT positions into the greater corporate environment.

This is where keeping IT in the loop can play a valuable role at improving company effectiveness and efficiency. As mentioned, the overall role of IT in many enterprises has grown tremendously in recent years. This means that IT decisions have taken on a greater degree of import for companies in many industries.

The problem is that despite the significance of IT decisions, many decision-makers do not adequately seek out the IT department's insights and opinions when making these choices. Instead, IT is often brought in at a later stage, after the big decisions have been made.

This is inefficient for several reasons. Most obviously and significantly, the IT department will have the greatest dealings with whatever technology the organization ultimately adopts. IT professionals are better equipped to make wise decisions regarding the IT resources a company acquires.

However, the IT department cannot and should not make these determinations by itself. After all, many other workers will also rely on the technologies developed in the organization.

The key, then, is for companies to bring IT personnel into the discussion when making decisions regarding IT services. By doing so, a firm can leverage one of its most important resources - the IT department itself - to greater effect, instead of leaving these workers out of the decision-making process. This will lead to more productive IT choices within the organization, making the company more effective and more efficient, and therefore better able to compete within its industry.

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