What’s on your list of 2012 project priorities? It probably looks something like this: Cloud computing, smartphones and mobile, social networking, business intelligence, revenue generation from IT, future trends, etc. All good stuff to work on, but where’s the “core” stuff? The stuff that’s still important, that helps the company run which means IT needs to work on it. What about that datacenter that everyone seems to be so quick to dismiss now that cloud computing is gaining momentum? Or How about ERP, CRM, customer service and support, PC upgrades, lifecycle management and security amongst many others?
In reality, both of these areas are important. The priority given to each of the activities will depend on the company and its business priorities for 2012. However we shouldn’t kid ourselves that the dawn of new technologies makes existing ones no longer relevant. Business processes still need to be supported by systems that execute efficiently and flawlessly. Stockholders, customers and business partners all expect it. We’ve not been given a pass on “yesterday’s systems”. Be on alert so you don’t take your eye off the core IT projects that must be maintained and delivered flawlessly. The majority of corporations will have datacenters for a very long time to come, and they need to be maintained and upgraded. Have any doubts? Just ask the CEO who writes the check. I would bet one of the most important information system projects they list are still ERP, CEM, email and mobile devices.
It’s important we all remind ourselves that IT has two jobs to do. We’ve fought for many years for that seat at the table with our business partners, and we deserve to be there. However that seat was built with credibility gained from properly managing and running the business of IT. If you haven’t thought about that lately, it’s time for a refresher. Make sure your 2012 project portfolio includes doing the work you need to keep costs low, while simultaneously delivering on time and with high quality. Demand continual improvement in even the most basic IT functions. Expect nothing less from yourself and your staff. Don’t allow the “want to work on” projects to take priority over the “need to work on projects”.
Keep proving to the company you are driving value, not just keeping the lights on.