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VOL. 132 | NO. 222 | Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Emphasizing the ‘I’ in CIO

Patrick Tamburrino

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Patrick Tamburrino

There are a lot of titles out there for your role in the company: chief information officer (CIO), chief digital information officer (CDIO) or information technology (I.T.) director, but they all have one word in common: information.

Traditionally the “information” in these titles refers to the management of the digital data housed on the company’s computers and servers. But, as the I.T. leader, it’s important to take the word literally and become an information hub for the rest of the leadership team and all your employees.

Empower your team. You may be thinking that additional communications will take up time you don’t have. But a little extra effort can increase efficiencies across the company, thus saving you time – and costs – down the road. Around $37 billion is lost annually due to employee misunderstandings and poor communication, according to the Holmes Report.

Technology can be a confusing topic for those of us not in the thick of it. The more you communicate to your team, the more understanding they’ll have of the software and hardware components you’ve selected. This will also make your co-workers feel as if they can come to you with any questions – instead of trying to fix problems on their own.

Proactive communication. You can start improving your communication in one easy step: Be proactive. Anytime the I.T. team is updating software, double-checking backup systems or replacing hardware, send out a company-wide email to explain why it is important to complete this project, how it will help improve performance and how long the updates will take. If the server will be down during this time, you should also give a specific timeframe for when users will be able to access their files again. This background information should help build a general respect between all departments and manage expectations for the users.

If your company uses an intranet or project management system, you can also post these communications there to ensure that everyone receives the message.

Help on the homefront. Now, I’m not suggesting that you set up everyone’s home computers, but often tips that apply to the office system can be applied at home. This is especially true when it comes to avoiding the next big malware attack. It only takes a minute to explain how to update their home computer or why they shouldn’t click on that link from any system. This could also save you in the long run, since many people log in to their work accounts from their home office.

Sharing a little bit more information and communicating your plans and goals can have a positive impact on the whole company – and it might make your days go more smoothly as well.

Patrick Tamburrino, the president of I.T. strategy, support and management firm tamburrino inc., can be reached at patrick@tamburrino.com.

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