3 Steps for IT Teams to Turn Their Attention Towards Driving Revenue
May 22, 2024

James Field

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As IT practitioners, we often find ourselves fighting fires rather than proactively getting ahead. Almost three-quarters (74%) of IT managers spend more than a full business day each week reacting to incidents, making it extremely difficult to work on what leaders want their teams do — like providing business value and looking for ways to improve customer experience. Many spend countless hours managing several tools that give them different, fractured views of their own work — which isn't an effective use of time.

Balancing daily technical tasks with long-term company goals requires a three-step approach. I'll share these steps and tips for others to do the same.

1. Identify what your impact on the bottom line should be

Depending on your role, your day-to-day output will look different, and your impact on the organization's greater goals should vary accordingly. While it may not be immediately obvious how each team's impact is perceived, it's crucial to recognize that developers and IT teams play a critical role in business success.

Starting simply: focus on the quality of your work. Is it error-free? Saving others time? Requiring input from other teams to be final? Check all these boxes consistently before shooting for the moon.

This big-picture thinking is often the more enjoyable and impactful work, like innovating for the business — that you can already do today. Keep current with releases and make sure you're on top of the best practices for your industry and role. You'll be surprised by the value you can provide and the heights you can reach using the tools already at your fingertips.

Or, it could be helping others do the same — I refer to this as resilience. Be the one to document and explain processes you've set up and succeeded with so others can follow your lead or help enhance your processes.

2. Don't overthink it!

There are many schools of thought when it comes to prioritization in the workplace, but I believe in the old adage KISS — "Keep it simple, stupid!" You could spend the better years of your career tinkering with the best tools available, over-indexing on the minute ways you can maximize productivity, or … you can just do it.

I begin by blocking off time on my calendar (see, simple!) to devote myself to thinking about how I'm "moving the needle." Then, I hone in on a problem that has been plaguing me, my team or our customers lately, and think about how to solve it. For example, it could be increasing the uptime or availability of a critical piece of infrastructure. Ask yourself:

What improvements could I make?

What is currently the best practice for solving this problem?

How could I simplify, automate or anticipate to make this better and even more resilient?

3. Work smarter, not harder

Keeping it simple, in my world, still involves taking advantage of the tools that can make our lives easier. If your role involves regular and repetitive tasks, scripting is your new best friend. Batch and script what you can to cut down the time you spend on tasks that AI can easily pick up (with your oversight, always). And for those tedious administrative tasks, lean on an AI co-pilot so you can focus on the work you want to be doing.

Another way to work smarter, not harder is to provide product feedback directly to its developer and product team. If I'm struggling with something, or sinking a lot of time into making something work, others likely are too. Speaking from my own experience, product teams truly value feedback straight from users, and you're likely to influence the development of tools in a direction that benefits you and your work. Win-win.

At the end of the day, it's important to start by viewing your work as essential to the business, then prioritizing tasks and dedicating time accordingly. When done effectively, your managers, teams and maybe even customers will notice.

James Field is Sr. Director of Product Strategy and Operations at LogicMonitor
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