IT’s role in Strengthening the Organization’s Success

By Eric Rosenzweig, CIO, Garden Fresh Restaurant Corp

Overcoming The Technology Issues In The Journey
In the journey of technology revolution, I have experienced issues from a variety of sources mainly from the growing pains of application development methodologies and the ever changing application landscape. The main challenges in the 25+ journey is the hardware and software incompatibilities and the evolution of storage and networking.

However, the consistent challenge throughout my journey is, “how to best to apply technology to solve business problems.”To me this is what has kept me engaged, energized and excited about the field of technology. Considering non-IT accomplices as “clients” and “the business” quickly place IT in US versus THEM mindset which is counterproductive to partnership, collaboration and ultimately puts accomplishment at danger.

Having great working connections where you comprehend the difficulties of different business units and they understand your challenges will permit you as an IT professional to concentrate on arrangements utilizing whatever technology is at hand.

Strategies that ensure IT spending provide more ROI.
IT’s job is to provide value by ensuring the company gets the value from its investments.

This is getting to be more challenging with the continued movement to the cloud either via infrastructure, platform or software as a service. Given the length of time that you will run an application like HR or Finance, these annual costs over 5, 10 or more years makes it more challenging to put together an ROI that makes sense.

My strategy is to certainly put pencil to paper to ensure that my IT spending makes sense not only from a dollars and cents perspective, but more vitally from a business viewpoint.

IT’s role in increasing business productivity, growth & innovation
My approach is to get my IT team out of maintaining and into enabling and transforming.

IT enables business productivity, growth and innovation by ensuring that IT is focused on those things that drive the business and having the resources available to keep up with where an organization is headed.

I believe IT functions can be broken down into three segments. Maintain – keeping the lights on; Enable – helping business functions become more efficient and automated; and Transform – working with the organization to implement new ways of achieving company goals in new and innovative ways.

If IT is spending the majority of its resources in maintaining it will never be able to keep up with the organization. This is especially true with the move to cloud based applications that can be had a credit card and a click of a button.

Strategy in choosing the right Technology for organization
The goals of the business will change over time and the technology to achieve these goals may change as well. IT organizations need to be flexible enough with both internal and external resources to support the changing business environment.

I believe the key to choosing the right technology is ensuring that you build a culture of learning where your staff has opportunities to try new technologies and stay as current as possible to understand the pros and cons of emerging technology. I don’t think the goal should be to pick a technology, but should be to have a strategy that embraces technology that best supports the goals of the business.

Expectations from IT to increase organization success
Where technology is part of a solution, I want my team to have the resources at their disposal to craft solutions that not only meet, but exceed expectations in both functionality and speed of delivery.

I believe IT problem solving skills can be applied in both technical and non-technical situations. I want IT to be a trusted collaborator in more than just technical decisions based on our expertise and understanding of the organization.

In this way IT is truly part of the “business” and will be seen as a strategic partner adding value and not just a group of geeks that someone needs to get an application up and running.

 

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