Obstacles for IT Departments

Joe Strangarone, President of MRC, just wrote an article on 5 obstacles that hold IT departments back in which I have a few quotes. The article deals with challenges businesses face with supporting their IT department.

The modern IT department must move quickly to meet the changing needs of the business. But, many IT departments face barriers and bottlenecks that slow them down. In this article, we identify some of the biggest obstacles holding your IT department back, and explain why they’re so important.

If you are in charge of an IT team, directly or indirectly, please go read. Joe puts together a great list, and I have 2 more for you to consider.

Lack of Vision
There are numerous businesses that lack vision for their IT department. This may sound a little odd, considering it’s usually the business that should have a mission statement and vision, however in today’s world, everyone relies on technology. A lot of businesses get confused about who they are. I once consulted with a company and asked the leadership team to outline what type of business they were. I heard all of the obvious answers, but no one suggested they were a technology company. Although at their core they may not have been solely technology driven, all businesses today must be a technology company, with a strong digital presence and strategy. This lack of vision often creates a disconnect between what the company needs to accomplish, and the IT department supporting the business’ needs. The less emphasis placed on the importance of the IT department, the more bottlenecks we encounter.

Poor Leadership
If your head of IT is not aligned with the head of the organization there will 100%, always be issues. This may seem easy to solve, unfortunately, it is not. We know that good leadership comes from hiring “experts” to do their job. The successful CEO’s hire CTO’s to manage the technology of the company, or the Manager hires the IT lead for their expertise and experience to allow the company to be successful. The sad reality of all companies, not every person in a leadership role is successful at managing people. With technology as relevant in all of our lives today, everyone has become an expert. When leadership believes they know better, or when egos get in the way of productivity, everyone loses. Having non-technical individuals lead technical individuals creates a ton of friction in the department, often generating needless work, stress and complications. Whether it comes in the form of micromanagement, or management who go around the IT process, or simply the lack of understanding, poor leadership is the death nail for an IT team.

Although we could probably add a few more to this list, what do you think are the biggest obstacles facing IT departments? Share your thoughts in the comments below!