Where Do We Begin?
Earlier in our series, we established that many companies are still in desperate need of an IT Journey to allow your IT system to be prepared for the future. We shared the milestones that Konica Minolta has identified to provide the roadmap for this journey. Last week we discussed in more detail the three milestones in the initial set-up considerations phase: standardization, security, and support.
Now that we have our IT systems properly set up, we move to the second phase: improving these systems with operationalization, collaboration, and mobility.
An essential part of any IT journey requires the alignment of IT as an integral part of core business processes. This should be considered whether you are outsourcing your IT, running it in-house, or operating somewhere in between. Traditionally, most IT departments are not set up to objectively measure their work. Meaningful metrics are therefore difficult to generate without prior preparation. Operationalizing your IT services will accelerate your time to market with measurable impact.
Measure, optimize, and operationalize. Start out by measuring broad priorities such as security, partnership, stabilization, development, or performance. These will naturally evolve into the measurement of processes that are more deeply ingrained in business activities. By collecting metrics, you will be able to identify bottlenecks and other inefficiencies. Once identified, you may take steps to improve them, thereby increasing the overall agility of your IT systems.
IT Collaboration & Unified Communications
“Great things in business are never done by one person; they’re done by a team of people” – Steve Jobs.
Most companies think of productivity as prompt email responsiveness, expecting employees to meet quick turnaround times. This has led the average worker to check their inbox over 15 times per day and spend 28% of their time addressing emails. Rather than benefiting businesses, this introduces stress to the individual and ends up decreasing productivity. This behavior extends from the cubicle to the boardroom, with employees feeling they must check their emails even while in meetings.
Reduce the dependency on internal email communication by establishing a collaboration platform. Social networking and project progress tracking solutions provide a more efficient way to monitor work processes. Collaboration software reduces the need for email as a document repository, a tool for project management, and a process for decision approval. Maintain productivity with remote workspaces by designing a digital workspace that is as simple and seamless as a traditional physical work environment.
A strong unified communications strategy enhances collaboration and includes:
- VoIP Telephony
- Reliable online meetings
- Face-to-face video and voice conferencing
- Enterprise messaging
- Screen and application sharing
When organized properly, mobilizing your IT system can enhance the productivity of your business, but may also contribute to headaches involving support and end-point management. No matter the size of the organization, IT mobility is a growing force that changes business dynamics. If your company does not leverage the advantages of a mobility management solution, you may be overwhelmed by the rapid growth of mobile business practices.
Beyond simply telecommuting, IT mobility encompasses a broad spectrum of technology that can change the way we interact socially, manage our personal affairs, and purchase products. Three primary areas fall under the scope of a mobile management strategy: Mobile Device Management; App Management; and Mobile Content Management. Successful mobility management encompasses a strategy, platform, and system of processes.
Finding a balance between security, compliance, privacy, and line-of-business priorities is crucial for a business to move forward on its IT Journey. IT departments no longer have the time and resources to manage the wide array of mobile devices, social software, and cloud computing options available. Effective enterprise mobility management will see the prioritization and separation of low-value IT activities from high-value ones. An assessment in this area helps to identify services that may be better delivered by outside sources and discover gaps in business alignment.
This assessment will aim to:
- Simplify user access to office WiFi networks
- Deliver secure email and work applications
- Automate software updates and notifications
- Remotely wipe data for lost and stolen devices
- Offer remote user support
- Segregate business data for bring your own device (BYOD) programs
- Integrate active directory and identity management
Redefining your IT strategy for mobility will accelerate your ability to innovate, launching your business forward.
Where to Next?
We have now set up our systems and made improvements to what we had in place. The final phase of our IT Journey will be to prepare our systems for longevity. Stay tuned for the concluding blog in our series where we discuss strategies to enhance the lifetime of an IT system.