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You’ll float too… If you don’t listen to your IT

Omar Ali Amin

on 11 November 2021

Here’s yet another hint Pennywise was trying to signal – IT has a scary face that we should all dread! If you don’t know who Pennywise is, then you are missing out watching the horrifying clown from the horror movie series It – not IT (Eye-Tee). No wonder it has become the highest-grossing horror film of all time, especially as Pennywise is giving us more scary life aspects to reflect the movie on (like this one)! 

What’s Pennywise trying to say? 

Pennywise is a creepy clown that lives in the sewers, waiting for it’s prey to come close enough and BAM – a fresh meal is ready to eat! In the movie, Pennywise says “They all float down here. You’ll float, too”, referring to the floating bodies of the many victims that have been dragged to the sewers and… well,  you know the rest. And as always, people get really creative around Halloween, this poster is 2021’s IT celebration of the year in my opinion. I’ve seen many stick that poster on their IT department’s door, and a lot of social media fun around it. Yeah, it looks fun (a clown normally does), but you might want to read behind the lines – maybe your IT folks are trying to tell you a very serious message about haunting you at night if things don’t work the way they like!

Is that a joke? 

Unless you’re actually hiring a deadly clown from outer space to be your IT engineer, you should be able to have a safe sleep at night, and you can walk past any sewer drain without worrying too much about taking your legs home with you. However, there are some nightmares out there that you still might want to avoid. You might still care about building a healthy IT department within your organisation that helps realise strategic business goals. You want to make your IT specialists happier, which will typically lead to better productivity and more innovation. You want to avoid spending more of your budget staying where you are rather than evolving and transforming the business. But first, what’s challenging about the IT operations in many organisations?

Well, imagine buying a Ferrari and taking it to a no-speed-limit highway. What do you do next? You throttle the fierce engine, and you ramp up to 60 mph, aaaand… that’s it! That thing goes 200 mph, you’re missing out the best part about driving a Ferrari. If you’re not going to drive any faster, then maybe you just want to enjoy personally owning an exotic. In business, it’s a different world. If 60 mph is your speed limit, then you should invest in no more than an 80 mph capable vehicle. 

It works the same way for your employees. IT specialists are a great asset for every organisation, and spending their time reactively handling issues is not a great utilisation of their skills and capabilities. You’ve hired great people, and they enjoy it when they are driving 200 mph everyday. They want to do all the proactive work, digital transformation, improving IT processes and exploring new technologies. They need more room to focus on these activities to achieve business goals and prepare for the future. Handling reactive firefighting issues diverts them away from their main goals and typically consumes most of their time. 

Finding the right balance for IT

Surprisingly, 55% of IT budgets are spent on operations according to a recent Delliote report. In other words, organisations are spending over half of their annual budgets staying where they are! So how can decision makers gain more control over their IT budgets? If you think about it, operations are operations, they cannot be disregarded, deprioritised or eliminated. Some tools and solutions might make things better, but how can we figure out the general rule that applies for most cases. How much value would it add to your organisation if you were capable of directing half of your operational budget into R&D? 

First, you need to categorise your daily IT activities on an importance urgency matrix. Impact always comes from the important non-urgent tasks, ones that can change your business to a better form or structure. Any urgent activity is a reactive one, and as agreed reactive tasks do not better position your organisation, even if they are as important as resolving a major outage. They have to be done, but you’re not gaining a competitive advantage by completing them. These specific activities are usually better outsourced for many reasons and benefits. First, it creates room for your IT specialists to run full-throttle on strategy and innovation, the place where all the improvements originate. Also, it offloads repetitive operational tasks to expert service providers running 24 x7 at a much lower cost. A full guide to categorising your activities and building a business-centric IT could be found in this whitepaper

This way, you end up cutting operational costs, sharing risks, and encouraging more innovation within your organisation. And most importantly, you end up with happy IT engineers who aren’t going to chase you or probably haunt you in your sleep!

If you’re not having enough sleep… 

Check our whitepaper “Managed IT Services: Overcoming CIOs biggest challenges
Visit our Managed IT Services website to learn more, or ask us any questions here

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