Almost every company has a Mission Statement. This mission statement should reflect your values and answer the question ‘Why do we exist?’ For most companies their strategic plan is reflective of their mission statement. But what about the IT plan?
One of the pillars of YHB’s mission statement is to provide fulfilling careers. In order to provide fulfilling careers, we need to make sure staff can work anywhere or anytime. Most people today are mobile so that needs to be addressed but that seems in conflict with IT’s responsibility to control the security of the data so planning is critical. Another issue with mobility and flexibility is communication. How do I know someone is working if they are never in the office? Staff appreciate having the latest software and the access to the right information so they can use their knowledge and creativity to provide new and exciting services to our clients.
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You can see where IT plays a vital role in providing the underpinnings of a fulfilling career. But technology has a role in other areas common to mission statements. Does your mission statement include growth? How can technology help with the mission of growing your company? Obviously more work means more people and more people means more of everything: computers, software licenses, telephones, support calls, etc. This kind of technology impact is a ‘lagging impact’, meaning the growth impacts the technology after the growth. But IT can also help with the growth. The things I listed above that help with a fulfilling career also help with productivity and that means they can free up their time to bring in new work or be able to provide services to clients we had not considered before.
Whether you are in IT or Management, be sure that you are thinking about how IT can impact your strategic plan. Management should include IT in these discussions whether it is about the plans impact on IT or how IT can help with the mission of the company. The IT people need to be able to bring positive ideas of how IT can help make the plan. IT people can be seen as the ‘Department of No’ a lot of times. IT is trying to protect the data and the network uptime so new ideas can meet resistance from the IT Department. The ‘Devil’s Advocate’ role is important to think through ideas and what negative impacts it may have but let’s make sure we move past that. IT should work towards being the ‘Department of How’ and Management should listen to the risks so we make sure we deliver the right solution.
My message is two-fold: Management needs to include IT in strategic planning and IT People need not only address potential issues but to bring new ideas to support the mission of the company and to help the strategic plan of the company.
Throughout his time at YHB Curtis has provided IT audit and consulting to clients, even while holding the position of the firm’s IT director for several years. Now, as head of the YHB Risk Advisory Services Team, Curtis focuses on assisting organizations in a variety of industries with internal audits and IT-related audit and consulting services. Also, he frequently speaks and gives presentations on SOX compliance, internal controls, and data security.