As comedian, Rodney Dangerfield, used to complain, "I get no respect!" It's hard to believe, with all the new technology they manage, IT departments continue to struggle to gain the respect they deserve within their companies. In fact, in a recent article in CIO Magazine, CIO of City of Los Angeles Information Agency (ITA), Ted Ross, was quoted as saying, "The other managers in the organization have no interest in partnering with IT when the feel the IT department has little to offer them." Really? To us at TTI, that seems unwarranted. We work with IT professionals every day and find them to be some of the most hardworking, talented and versatile individuals within any organization. So what's behind all this?
It's complicated. For one thing other departments and executive management continue to hold unrealistic expectations of IT. There is a sense that applications need to be developed quickly. And they need to run perfectly the first time! Part of the problem is IT's siloed approach to communications. This has been a problem for years. There is a culture that resists sharing information and insight with others. So, employees and senior management avoids contact altogether. According to Ted Ross, there is a reluctance by other managers to partner with IT if they feel the department can't really be of help. So the gap widens and creates an overall lack of visibility.
What can organizations do to turn around these attitudes and create a stronger relationship between senior management and IT? There are a few things that can help.
Never before in history has IT held such a critical role. They must do more than keep the network, apps and devices operating. These are the individuals who will help pave the communications and information future for their organizations. They deserve respect. However, it must be earned. Taking the time to communicate and develop collaborative relationships within the department will go a long way towards demonstrating value and building trust throughout the company.
At TTI we value the many IT and Telecom managers we work with. We understand your world and the many challenges you face. Be sure to reach out to us when you need assistance gaining better visibility and control over the expenses associated with your network. We're here to help.