Be honest: How many projects have come through your IT group that had great promise, but never saw the light of day? Or maybe some were partially installed, but didn’t quite reach the finish line. Sound familiar?

For too long, IT’s goals have been relegated to doing cutovers, but that isn’t what moves the needle. Installing a system is just the starting point. Getting away from half-finished projects and unrealized aspirations, IT leaders instead need to focus on identifying what the business is going to get out of each technology deployment. Business outcomes and benefits need to replace installations and upgrades. Companies that are deriving real value from their IT investments are doing it by making growth and innovation the priorities. They’ve embraced IT transformation as their mission, and you may want to do the same.

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Understanding how each technology will align with and support the organization’s strategic objectives is key. One example is when the head of sales wants to increase leads through data mining by 10 percent. Simply installing a CRM system won’t achieve that goal. Does the sales team care that the CRM has been cutover? Or do they care that the number of leads goes up? To get to the heart of what business units really want from their technology, IT needs to move out of their historical role as doers and become enablers. How does that system deployment impact data mining and how can the business pull value from that system where it matters most?

This change in approach requires IT to transform its mission and take on a more strategic position in the organization. A partnership with a managed services provider is one way to make this happen. With day-to-day tasks in the capable hands of a trusted vendor and off IT’s plate, the group can dedicate time and expertise to understanding which KPIs and other metrics are important. That knowledge can then be used to put together the right business case to deliver the anticipated increase in sales leads. IT will also have the ability to better monitor progress against expectations—as the system rollout is completed, training is conducted and users adopt the technology into their workflows—and ensure that every deployment is a success.

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There are challenges that companies and their IT departments must overcome, of course. From a cultural perspective, many organizations have been doing things the same way for 20 years and they can’t grasp why they should change. Experience is another challenge. If all you know is how to solve those problems that come in every day, has your team had the kind of meaningful interaction with these business leaders that will be needed to move ahead? Getting face time with division heads is perhaps the easier roadblock to kick aside. Escaping the rut of how things have always been done is more difficult. However, IT won’t have time for either until their workflows revolve less around daily run tasks and other operational considerations, and more around where strategic advancements and business value can be realized through the use of technology solutions. By leveraging the horsepower of an experienced managed services provider, your IT group can make that shift before the rut gets any deeper.