Part One in a Two-Part Series



This year, IT departments within small-to-medium sized businesses (SMBs) and midmarket enterprises will continue to experience pressure to streamline their operations and reduce costs. Yet, the enterprise will also continue to face attacks from a variety of security threats. In addition, as the economy improves, new branch offices and remote users will be added, with routers, firewalls, servers, employee workstations, and other infrastructure equipment. All of this will need to be managed, monitored, and maintained, often 24/7. In short, demands on help desk and IT support services will inevitably increase – and budgets likely will not.

In times like this, it becomes critical for IT departments to optimize their perceived value to the business. One way they can do this is by directly supporting and aligning IT strategies with business priorities. These priorities translate into concrete business drivers, if not a battle cry for IT departments to take their operations to the next level.

In this first article, we’ll examine how IT can support and align business strategies through business process improvement and reducing enterprise costs. The next article, which will appear soon, will focus on alignment with business analytics and data-driven decision making, as well as improving workforce effectiveness and attracting and maintaining customers.

Business Process Improvement

In today’s competitive business environment, organizations of all sizes must scrutinize their business processes with the goal of finding new ways to improve efficiency. Redesigning, optimizing and automating business process are central ideas for achieving new efficiencies and realizing business goals.

Business process improvement through automation is an area where IT departments can move in lockstep with one of the organization’s top business priorities – if not lead by example. The key is to automate the right type of routine tasks to realize new efficiencies, achieve a systematic approach, and improve technician productivity.

IT automation platforms, for example, are increasingly being deployed to replace many tedious manual in-house processes including updating patches, resetting passwords, running defrags, application deployments, performing asset management and updating software on employees’ systems, endpoint security, and regulatory compliance – with auditable logs – and many other tasks.

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