• Yes, Your IT Department Can Improve Productivity & Company Culture

    Yes, Your IT Department Can Improve Productivity & Company Culture

    Content courtesy of Fatech IT Advisors.

    The past two years saw the way we do business change dramatically. In 2020, at the height of the pandemic, two-thirds of work was being done remotely. Even now, in 2022, a significant amount, approximately one-third, of work is being done remotely.

    A New Era of Company Culture

    The big question then and now for businesses was how we keep morale up and have a good company culture if everyone is apart. While virtual games and cocktail hours were successful, 95% of professionals pointed to IT issues diminishing workplace morale.

    The IT Department's Relationship with Company Culture

    IT is the backbone of the business. When done right, IT improves productivity because it's easier for the team to do its job. However, when it doesn't work, everyone's job is harder. When jobs are frustrating, morale is lowered. The bottom line: IT supports more than infrastructure; it supports company culture too.

    How IT Can Improve Company Culture

    The status page says everything is online. Everything is good, right? Another important stat, 90% of professionals believe there is room for improvement. One of the top reported issues was difficulty with collaboration and communication.

    Issues with Collaboration & Communication

    These are usually the top impediments to collaboration.
    • Lack of direction
    • Lack of engagement
    • Lack of transparency
    These issues are all communication issues. The biggest driver of poor collaboration is a lack of communication each step of the way, between leadership and the team, between departments and team members.

    Tackling Collaboration & Communication Issues

    In any workplace, for work to get done, the team must be able to collaborate. As we just learned, to collaborate, they must be able to communicate, which means having the right tools.
    Here is a set of questions to create requirements to evaluate communication and collaboration tools.

    1.    How many different places is communication happening?

    Start by creating a list of every method—and the software that drives it—by which the team has to communicate. There are many communication tools: phone calls, email, instant messages, and meetings (in-person/video), just to name a few.

    2.    Which methods work with each other and which don't work together?

    Communication in the modern area is answering an email with a text and a phone call with an email. From that list created in step 1, determine which ones can be pulled together to understand the number of devices and methods needed for clear communication and good collaboration.

    3.    What functionality is needed?

    From this list, determine the features that each offers. Then work with the operations team (or directly with the team that will be using it) to understand what features they use or don't, and which ones they wish they had and why. By looking at the results of steps 2 and 3, requirements should start to take shape.

    4.    What type of security requirements are there?

    Lastly, add security requirements to your newly formed list of evaluation criteria.

    About Vladimir Zrajevsky

    Vladimir Zrajevsky has nearly 20 years of experience in computer and information sciences. He is the president of Fatech IT Advisors, a multiservice IT solutions and professional service provider based in Herndon, VA. Learn more at fatech.net

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