In many organizations, the IT department is a critical part of the business structure. Many people know that IT professionals play a vital role in keeping operations afloat, but there can be misconceptions about the struggles and challenges that IT departments face.
As with any other team or department, IT staff members have unique needs, expectations, and hurdles to overcome as they carry out their tasks and responsibilities. Executive leadership and management can alleviate these burdens by taking the time to listen and empathize, and by investing in practical solutions that truly help.
In this post, learn how to make life easier for your IT team by developing your understanding of this team’s needs, challenges, and workflow processes.
Top needs for IT teams and departments
Many IT teams are composed of several different units or sub-departments. These teams might focus on a variety of different areas related to operations. As a whole, “Information Technology” can encompass infrastructure, security, employee services, network maintenance, and governance.
Because IT teams carry a lot of weight when it comes to keeping things running smoothly, tension can exist between IT team members and other personnel. In fact, up to 72% of IT service management professionals experience a lack of understanding and recognition from management
To operate more efficiently, IT teams have a few basic needs. Leadership at both the department and executive levels should take time to understand these foundational requirements.
Sensible administrative structure
An IT department should be structured to optimize tasks, responsibilities, and results. A good team structure can also help maximize the individual skill set of each IT employee. For example, a company’s IT department might be divided into several important teams.
- Support and technology
- Enterprise architecture
- System and network maintenance
- IT management
As much as possible, make sure that specific IT responsibilities fall to the appropriate team or sub-department. Proper delegation eliminates frustration and prevents troublesome bottlenecks across the entire organization.
Healthy resource allocation
IT teams also rely on leadership when it comes to budget spending and resource allocation. Because building a health IT framework costs time, resources, and money, IT teams need the right budget to operate most efficiently.
Modern skillset and professional development
When hiring new IT leaders and team members, prioritize applicants who have a mature set of skills and a willingness to grow and learn. IT departments need fresh talent and unique perspectives in order to produce results and troubleshoot technical challenges. This means building an IT team that has a diverse background in terms of training, technical expertise, and professional knowledge.
Organizational and executive support
Although it might go without saying, IT teams can feel underappreciated for the incredibly important work they perform on a daily basis. Offering support and acknowledgment minimizes the stress and pressure that IT departments face during everyday challenges.
When problems do arise, executive leaders should be willing to go to bat for IT team members and offer public support for important decisions and actions. Occasionally, this means addressing workplace bureaucracy and politics and responding to issues directly.
Most common burdens of IT departments and team members
Along with basic expectations and needs, IT departments also have a few common burdens and frustrations that arise in the scope of normal business. Although some of these challenges are more cumbersome than others, many problems can be eliminated through careful planning and proactive responses.
Putting in the effort to minimize these hassles can produce several positive changes and help IT departments stay focused in their greater mission.
IT departments must confront a growing number of cybersecurity threats on a daily basis. These troubles can include anything from network security concerns, to data privacy risks, to insider threats and vulnerabilities. Staying on top of these risks involves a tremendous amount of diligence and effort.
If IT teams aren’t equipped with the right knowledge, bandwidth, and software, businesses can be at risk for data breaches, crippling cybersecurity incidents, and compliance challenges. Not only do these events negatively affect the IT department as a singular unit, but they could also cause damage to the entire organization.
Maintaining hardware and software at the company level requires substantial oversight. IT team members often need to check in with employees and staff members to ensure that machines, programs, and applications stay up to date.
One of the greatest problems with this process is that it takes up a significant amount of time for IT team members. To ensure that maintenance flows smoothly across the entire organization, there should always be the right number of trained IT personnel available to help with maintenance tasks.
Employee burnout and turnover
Employee burnout can happen anywhere, but IT teams are particularly vulnerable. Ongoing frustration among IT professionals is often the result of high expectations with little support. In order for IT teams to thrive (and for employees to feel valued in their position), responsibilities should be realistic and well-supported by the resources and goals of the organization as a whole.
Excessive work loads
Along with burnout, IT teams often experience to-do lists that are simply unsustainable for the number of employees or resources available. This contributes to lower rates of retention among IT staff members, who often end up handling small tasks that could be automated or delegated to other team members.
The nature of IT work requires technical expertise and thorough communication. Because other teams may not be familiar with the specific verbiage used by IT departments, a lack of mutual understanding can contribute to breakdowns in collaboration. This creates frustration for IT team members who simply want to accomplish assigned work without pushback or fear or repercussions.
Practical steps to minimize IT frustration
As a business leader or fellow employee, you can help make life easier for your IT team members by following a few simple and practical steps.
- Ask questions. If there’s something you don’t understand about IT processes, request clarification. The answers can help other teams avoid missteps when it comes to security risks and technology protocol.
- Invest time in understanding. If you’re in a leadership role, take time to truly understand the needs of your IT leaders. You may uncover surprising ways that you can provide solutions in terms of resources, staffing, or other types of support.
- Distribute resources accordingly. Once your IT team identifies and communicates their specific needs, be sure to respond. Effective resource allocation can remove frustration and strengthen job satisfaction.
- Complete the tasks you’re equipped to handle. It’s a mistake to assume that all tech tasks should always be offloaded to IT team members. If you know how to perform a simple fix or answer a common question, try to find an approved solution before passing the task to IT.
- Outsource as needed. If your IT team is strapped for time and talent, it may be best to outsource certain tasks or projects. This can be as simple as choosing an automation solution or as complex as working with a team of contractors for a specific assignment.
Implement software that makes life easier for IT
In addition to all the solutions listed above, you can leverage a data collection platform like FormAssembly to solve business challenges throughout your entire organization. Whether you simply need to build user-friendly web forms, sync data in real-time, or integrate with other applications and solutions, better data collection makes everyone’s job a little easier.
A platform like FormAssembly can help you streamline and modernize existing business processes while relieving burden on your IT team. It can also help reframe your entire workflow process to increase efficiency, boost transparency, and foster team collaboration.
Real-world IT teams are streamlining processes with FormAssembly
FormAssembly helps IT teams in every industry find flexibility and freedom. In the case of Frostburg State University, FormAssembly became part of the school’s CMS form integration. This implementation reduced the burden on IT staff members who were already strapped for time.
Because FormAssembly is so easy to use, more staff members were able to build and publish web forms that the school needed for internal and external communication. This put more power in the hands of users and allowed the IT team to focus on urgent projects that were technical in nature.
”Before [FormAssembly], people were afraid to ask to get a form set up, but now it’s so easy. With FormAssembly, it’s just a couple of clicks and things are working.
Reid Bluebaugh, Director of Web and Mobile Applications
Help your IT team thrive
If you want to ensure a thriving work environment and supportive culture for your IT team, invest in the right solutions. A powerful data collection platform like FormAssembly can eliminate frustrations, encourage transparency, and improve cross-departmental collaboration.
We’re here to help you find the right data solution for your IT team, no matter what. Reach out today to learn more about FormAssembly.