Life is all about rolling dice. All our choices, outcomes, and current standings are the culmination of bets we make in our life, no matter how big or how small. Sometimes we roll the golden number, and the vending machine drops two bags of Fritos. Sometimes we roll snake eyes, and the Midtown transformer catches on fire. Everything in this world is uncertain, but, at the same time, everything can be prepared for. To be knowledgeable and proactive is to establish security in insecurity; it is how we roll the dice which is most important.
Deep meaningful introduction aside, co-management of IT is the heart and soul of this concept in the scope of business. Currently, with technology being the backbone of many businesses, IT departments are necessary to help troubleshoot problems and manage productivity. However, a single IT department may not cut it, especially as a business expands: problems arise exponentially and become overwhelming fast. Co-management of IT provides your business with proactive support and training in an independent yet mutually beneficial relationship. In this blog post, I will explain how to get the most from co-management through parallelism between teams, organizational structure, and trust.
Communication, Cooperation, Coordination
One of the biggest challenges of co-management is having everyone on the same page. It can quickly become detrimental to the working relationship if teams seclude information. For example, if the IT department decides to switch OS systems without the proper planning and roll-out strategy with consultants, the co-management will have been interrupted and essentially cut out of the process. Communication changes in the environment should also be documented so that no party is left in the dark.
Structure Kills Redundancy
Organizational structure can provide an unexpected boost to company efficiency. The structure provides a concrete plan for who does what and closely relates to problem escalation. If there is a problem that needs higher expertise, there should be a minimum redundancy. As the service request moves up the chain of command, the next tier engineer should not need to redo something that the previous level has already done. When escalating service requests, it is essential that the proper information is relayed in the process such as symptoms, screenshots, error logs, troubleshooting steps are taken and anything else that would make the escalation process more streamlined.
It is also recommended that you have a more function-based organizational structure. More linear, hierarchal structures have been proven to inefficient and prone to growing pains during company expansions. Changing your organizational structure will not only bolster productivity and create an accountability feedback loop, but it will also help with ensuring the success of co-managed IT. If it is comprehensible of who is responsible for certain functions of the company, simple troubleshooting becomes incredibly easy, leaving room to focus on the bigger ticket items.
Trust, The Floodgate of Efficiency
All relationships are built on trust. The IT department needs to trust that the consultant services will give their utmost attention to assisting them and vice versa. The consultants must also trust that the internal IT team does their own part. There is no room for fingerpointing or politicking. A good solid foundation of trust helps eliminate these issues and enables the teams to work together towards the same goal.
Co-managed IT is purposeful as it is powerful and needs to be treated as such. It is not a one-team-does-all operation, but it is also not an anything-goes relationship. Both parties need to respect one another as business partners because, in the end, successful business outcomes are the main priority.