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5 Signs of a Dysfunctional Information Technology Environment

dsyfunctionThere is no doubt that a dysfunctional organization produces more waste than a functioning one.  Many individuals can sense when something is just not right.  The hair on the back of your neck raises or maybe it’s the feeling in your gut, but how do you know when your Information Technology environment has gone bad?  Here are five signs of a dysfunctional Information Technology environment.

You know your IT environment is dysfunctional when…

…Your Projects Don’t Move
In a dysfunctional IT organization projects are stuck in a perpetual state of undone.  It’s like the Roach Motel – projects go in, but they don’t come out. The project backlog is always growing and never shrinking.  The IT organization is always hopping from one burning project to the next.  What catches projects on fire? It’s not the next project the enterprise agreed to start, it’s not the project with the best return on investment, and it’s not the project that will strengthen the organization’s weakest link, it’s the project from the department or department head that screams the loudest.

…You Have IT Lurking in the Shadows
Shadow IT is the pseudo IT operation that does not report to the Chief information Office or IT Director, has a separate set of priorities (that of the sponsoring department), and usually is the result of a slow and unresponsive IT organization.  Shadow IT says the sponsoring department no longer trust the IT organization to deliver their projects in a timely and accurate manner.  In truth shadow IT is costly often resulting in rework since the staffer is generally not held to the same standard of work (testing, integration, functionality, documentation, etc.) as the IT organization.

…Your Computer Equipment is Continually Failing
Dysfunctional IT organizations are constantly fixing the breaks in the dam without ever fundamentally fixing or replacing the dam.  This is not the normal cycle of break – fix where a problem is identified and eventually resolved.  Dysfunctional IT is always fixing the same projects.   Are the servers constantly running out of space or crashing?  Is the network always slow?  Is the email full of spam?  Are applications unavailable? Do you constantly have to reboot your desktop or laptop?  Then you are experiencing a broken IT organization.

…You are Your Worst Enemy and You Don’t Even Know It
When your organization is unfamiliar with, or intentionally ignores, the protocol established to get projects completed it is broken.  It is unhealthy when organizational leadership wants to install an application or hardware that does not fit the technical corridor and cannot understand why operating within the corridor is more cost effective it is unhealthy.  This should not be interpreted to mean that the technical corridor is fixed and should not be expanded, but suggests there is a process to expanding it.  When the organization does not understand how governance and effective use of assets help to move projects along it needs to be repaired.

…Your IT Organization Thinks its Hot – but it’s Not!
If your IT organization actually thinks it is doing a good job when everyone else in the organization thinks it is a joke, then your IT organization is dysfunctional.  If your IT organization can not show you metric that demonstrate it is meeting the service level agreements, then your IT organization is dysfunctional.  If your IT staff spends more time in the office, data center, or cave and less time in the business units, then it is dysfunctional.  If the CIO or IT Director is not investigating trends or developing strategy, then it is dysfunctional.

There is no doubt that dysfunctional IT costs the organization.  Return for more tips to combat bad IT or if your organization is currently experiencing these challenges contact us immediately to schedule a SWOT analysis.

 

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