A potential customer of mine cited an article that discusses relevant IT basics for business managers.

I believe her points are very relevant:

In Mary Shacklett’s article she talks about 10 IT basics:


Defining a business case for a new application:

Certainly there are many technologies designed to provide Big Data Analytics, but in a world with limitless data and more being stored by the second, it is important for the business to determine what they are going to be doing with the information once the data has been captured and stored.  She gives the example of reducing machine failures.  Another might be to identify equipment or drugs that are being underutilized and bringing tighter reigns on inventory control.

Working with an IT vendor:

Understanding your requirements and what a vendor can provide both from an engineering perspective, service level, as well as security around data and applications is critical.  There are many IT vendors, so figure out which ones are uniquely different and eliminate redundancies.

What does IT contribute:

IT can be considered a roadblock by business managers, but as she points out, the job of IT is vast and complicated.  Maintaining security and privacy, the uptime of mission critical applications, tracking system assets, ensuring employees are using the systems properly all while trying to create a more agile environment to better support the business is no easy task.

Addressing security matters:

Better employee education is important.  Teaching employees to avoid unsafe websites, the sharing of user id’s and passwords, and more is critical.

Effectively using mobile, desktop, and laptop devices:

Train your staff.

Business managers need be able to effectively utilize IT assets:

In other words, make sure your employees aren’t leaving their assets in unfavorable conditions that decrease the life of those assets or contribute to a larger problem.

Develop basic reports:

An effective basic report to communicate to management isn’t rocket science.  Be sure to develop effective reporting to convey what you are trying to accomplish or improve.

Take advantage of IT services:

There are many advantages to automation involving portals and self service.  Make sure your company is leveraging the appropriate enterprise software to make it work for your organization.

Tech lingo:

There is a ton to tech lingo out there.  You can get completely lost in it when interacting with IT and groups of engineers.  Make sure you understand on a general level what much of it means so that you can interact intelligently with your IT staff and truly understand what impacts your business and what doesn’t.  Don’t get caught up in bits and bytes, but understand at a high level how IT impacts your business systems.

Technology fit for business:

Create a vision and get your resources to help with an architectural view for three to five years down the road.  Then you can always realign the ship when changes occur sticking to the overall vision or goal while eliminating investment redundancies.

Tony Bilby