Your IT department is responsible for procuring and managing the technology you use within your business. When operating efficiently, and when using the right tools, it can skyrocket your productivity. But it can also hold your productivity back.
How is this the case? And what can you do about it?
How Your IT Strategy Could Hinder Your Productivity
A good IT support services firm can help you identify the key areas where your current IT approach is hurting your overall productivity. If you rely purely on internal resources, you may suffer from biases and blind spots that prevent you from seeing the true effects of your infrastructure and internal processes.
These are some of the specific ways that your IT strategy could be hindering your productivity:
- Software bloat. Your organization may be suffering from different types of software bloat. If you have different software platforms that essentially accomplish the same functionality, or if your devices are overloaded with slow or underperforming pieces of software, you’ll need to take action. Depending on the nature of the problem, that could mean eliminating or integrating different software platforms, or simply choosing new alternatives.
- Insufficient resources. Some IT departments suffer from insufficient resources. You may have a lack of hardware, a lack of software, or a lack of people preventing you from reaching your full productive potential. Investing more money is usually the solution, but you need to do this wisely.
- Poor hardware. Are your employees complaining about slow, buggy, or obsolete devices? If so, they could be losing countless hours due to something totally beyond their control. That doesn’t mean you need to upgrade every piece of hardware in your organization to the latest, most expensive models, but you should take intervening action if you want to improve this.
- Unusable software. Your software platforms may be functional and cost efficient, but are they capable of boosting your productivity? If your software is hard to use, if it isn’t sufficiently comprehensive, or if it creates more problems than it solves, you need to do something about it.
- Downtime. Downtime costs an average of $5,600 per minute. It’s one of the biggest threats your organization faces in terms of technological operation. If your business suffers from downtime on a regular basis, or if you don’t have protocols in place for preventing and mitigating downtime, it could be massively and negatively impactful to your productivity.
- Scaling and expansion problems. Many businesses encounter IT efficiency and productivity problems when they start scaling and expanding. Suddenly, the infrastructure that used to work perfectly fine can no longer perform optimally – and the new products and services the business acquired aren’t able to close the gap. This is usually due to a lack of inherent scalability or growth that is too slow or too fast.
- Wasted time and effort. Almost all IT departments suffer from at least some wasted time and effort. Inefficient processes, redundant responsibilities, and miscommunications can all take resources away from where they’re needed most. Fortunately, most of these issues are relatively easy to clean up.
How to Correct the Problem
So what can you do to correct the problem?
- Conduct an internal audit. A broad IT audit is the best way to identify the specific elements that are causing harm in your organization or otherwise preventing you from reaching your true potential. It’s a comprehensive review of your entire IT department, including your hardware, software, processes, and other resources.
- Hire a competent team. An audit alone may not be able to tell you exactly how each component of your IT strategy is affecting productivity, and you may not have the experience or knowledge necessary to be able to make this assessment in isolation. That’s why it’s important to hire a competent team to help you identify problematic areas and recommend improvements.
- Streamline and practice minimalism. Many of the most important optimizations for productivity from an IT perspective boil down to streamlining and minimalism. Eliminating waste, reducing bloat, and coordinating your resources more effectively can all lead to higher productivity.
- Know when it makes sense to invest. Sometimes, the solution to your productivity problem is a new product, a new set of services, or some other important investment. Expanding your infrastructure and spending more money can be problematic in a few different ways, but you also need to be prepared to invest whenever it makes sense to do so.
If your business is currently suffering from productivity issues due to decisions in your IT department, don’t worry. Countless businesses are in a similar position. What’s important is that you’re able to recognize these problems for what they are so that you can correct them and pave the path to higher productivity overall.