What’s your most important asset? We’ll give you a hint: It’s not any of your racks, hardware, or laptop carts. It’s not funding or processes or your authority. It’s not even your staff, although they are incredibly important for the success of your organization. The most important asset you have is time. It’s something that’s easily spent and something you can never get back. It’s something your team can leverage to affect organizational growth and achievement or something they can use to put out IT “fires” all day. It’s ultimately your decision, but it’s your most important resource, and it’s the commodity you must optimize if you want to make a real impact for your organization.
Words I’ll Never Say for $1000, Alex
Have you ever actually said, “I have a lot of free time”? We’d be willing to bet that you’ve never said that in the context of work. IT departments are busier than they’ve ever been before. Why? Because students, teachers, and staff walk in the door with five times the number of devices they used to have, and they all need to get on the network. Plus, your campus may have Chromebooks or other 1:1 devices that require connectivity, which means you’re probably at capacity dealing with trouble tickets and trying to keep everything running smoothly. Whether we like it or not, IT jobs (and expectations) are changing. More activities are now IT-dependent, and parents, teachers, and district leaders are beginning to expect that all this technology will work all the time. Your department faces more demands today than at any time in the past.
But There’s Also a Lot of Pressure
Let’s face it: just keeping everything up and running just isn’t particularly sexy. Between us, we know how much effort is required and how fundamentally important it is for daily success, but it’s not particularly “visible,” meaning it’s only obviously important when there’s a problem. This means you’ll be fighting to keep your head above water while dealing with tactical issues and additional projects that are thrown on your plate. With all of that, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll be working on initiatives that contribute to more overt organizational goals, such as student success or a safer campus. The result: IT is often seen as a black hole cost center rather than a valuable resource. It’s incredibly easy to stay in that space when things start to get crazy and panic sets in—we do what we know.
It's up to You
The IT department is responsible for proving to leadership that it can handle a more prominent role in achieving organizational objectives. If you’re drowning in the tactical, it may also be appropriate to say, “Hey, we want to help you achieve the goals that are important to you and the future of our students, but there’s only so much time in the day, and we have to prioritize issues to keep users happy.” Meanwhile, we all know that day-to-day operations still need to function effectively so that you can devote more time to new/additional projects.
Get by With a Little Help
There’s a simple solution that some organizations are afraid to explore or overlook altogether: getting some help. We’ve seen many IT departments struggle to maintain the right balance between keeping the blinky lights on and working to achieve larger organizational goals. That’s why we developed our managed services offering, dgi>enable. Our experts supplement your IT department by managing mission-critical operations, while your internal team shifts its focus to larger projects and overall goals. Repeat: We are not in the business of replacing your IT team, and we won’t come in with the goal of thinning out your IT staff. We are there to handle the tactical burden so that your team can focus on the bigger picture.
We can provide expertise in more areas than you could realistically staff. We can maintain 24/7 network monitoring. We can help you troubleshoot when issues arise. What we can’t do is replace your staff. Their time is still your most important resource. Use that time for activities that will have a positive impact on your students and staff. That’s when the organization will feel the true impact of IT.