Going Radio Silent in IT

By Randy Kerns, Thursday, July 9th 2020

Analyst Blogs

The current situation we are in worldwide has created challenges in the Information Technology industry.  Projects have been put on hold.  Orders are to minimize IT changes with the fear that a change will cause a potential disruption.  And, an increasing impetus to reduce expenses.  The reduction of expenses mandate may be indiscriminate – a certain amount of money must be saved, usually as a percentage of the budget.  How the savings are accomplished usually includes staff reductions.

Based on those conditions for operating Information Technology, many of the key people in IT are not speaking up to address current or looming issues or offering ideas for cost reductions (volunteering for early retirement not included).  The reasons for being “radio silent” varies.  There is certainly a hesitancy by many to bring up topics in time of crises.  The hesitancy is a fear of being a focus – being “put on the spot.”  Another is that ideas that might be proffered may introduce risk – experience in IT teaches that any change has some unexpected risk.  Another hesitancy may be that additional effort is required.  Inviting more work when current work schedule is already consumed is a difficult rationalization for many.  This is a recognition of staff limitation – previous actions have led most staff to be over-subscribed.

Keeping radio silent is not a good idea.  It shirks the responsibility of an employee in the IT organization.  The nature of IT has been one of continuous improvement.  Some refer to it as continuous change and may not see the change for the better but in the long view, it is continuous improvement.  Technologies continue to be developed and bring new opportunities on how to do things faster, differently in a way that has advantages, and deliver services better.  More than just something new, technology enables improvements.  The perspective that adopting/implementing new technology is needed to remain competitive is one that successful companies have embraced.

Our recommendation is to continue to take the initiative in IT for improvements.  Exploit advances in technology.  Keep engaged despite hesitancy and conservatism of others.  Meet the current issues and the future demands.  We work with our clients about thinking strategically for any decision, recognizing that things will change.  Expense reduction in the short term can be part of a strategy for the future and be of immediate value.  It just takes initiative.

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