In most small to mid-sized companies, the IT Manager used to be a very good network guy, or maybe she was a programmer that was ready to move on and you didn’t want to lose her.  Typically, the IT Manager is someone who was promoted due to past technical performance.  Unfortunately, it’s often not because they have business experience or have demonstrated leadership and high level decision making skills.  Ask yourself, “Why aren’t they being invited to the Senior Level Business Planning meetings today?”  It’s usually because you know they are involved in tactical decisions, not strategic technology decisions

The other side of the problem is, how do the business needs get communicated to IT today?  As an example, if Senior Managers are discussing ways to reduce costs to try to increase profits, then someone mentions that their brother-in-law at Harley said they just put in an IP phone system and saved a ton of money because all the calls are free now.  Does that mean the same technology solution will work for your company?  Then someone tells IT to find an IP phone system and put it in.

What are the chances that the IT Manager is going to first build the business case on why it’s needed?   Will they prepare a 3 year cost analysis on local and long distance phone costs to arrive at a “current state” scenario to be compared with a “future state” scenario along with an ROI analysis?  Will they carefully select several vendors and compare systems?

If the CEO tells the IT Manager to get an IP phone system, it’s going to happen.  The IT Manager believes the decision was already made and his responsibility is to find it and get it installed.  Who is going to take the time to look at the differences between what Harley needs and what your $10 – $20 million operation needs?  Who will look at the training costs and time and resources involved to go live?  How many other systems will be impacted?  What about the network impact?  Is your current infrastructure even capable of delivering superior call quality across your data network?

That’s just one example of why an experienced, Senior Level technology professional adds value to an organization.  They are at the meetings in the beginning when an idea like this comes up.  They can ask the hard questions before someone tells the IT Manager to go do something.  They will insist that the Senior Management make the business case for the new technology before moving forward and can help bridge the gap between the executive team and the technology team.

The right technology decision isn’t always new hardware or new applications.  So what might you be missing?  Contact The Templar Group and let us help you find the best solutions.

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