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Increase the importance of your IT role
Boosting the value of Information Technology
We work with at lot of companies, and on average, most companies in the market for a new information technology system, like Epicor, assign it to the IT department. (After all, that’s what IT stands for, right?) So, if you’re reading this, you are likely deemed an Epicor “super user” or perhaps you’re an IT person assigned to be the admin for Epicor…whether or not you’ve ever used Epicor in the past.
Most companies assume that, if the new system has something to do with computers, then it should be assigned to the IT staff. However, ERP is so much more than just a computer system, and what they sometimes do not take into account is that many IT professionals may not have experience nor have taken courses in areas such as cost accounting, business management, production scheduling, or perhaps any areas of about 1,000 things that an ERP system does. Yet, dutifully, these IT professionals sit through the meetings, nodding their heads, and hoping that nobody asks them any tough ERP-related questions. However, I’m here to tell you that you might be more prepared for this task than you think!
Every day, you fix countless operational issues, many of which might be process-related. My suggestion for 2021 is to keep a record of all the seemingly random problems that you solve every day, especially the repetitive ones, and investigate how an ERP system might assist in resolving those issues. Using a ticketing system (We prefer ConnectWise Manage.), you will be able to identify patterns or areas causing difficulty that might benefit from an ERP system like Epicor. While you might not be an expert at Epicor yet, you sure are an expert on the company’s technology problems and how to solve them!
Looking at the bigger picture, try to also find ways that your IT team benefits the company as a whole. For instance, on the shop floor of a manufacturing company, you might support tasks like bar code scanning, movements of materials on the shop floor, shipping and receiving, etc. Whether big or seemingly small, start to keep track of those incremental changes you’ve made that allow those operations to be more efficient.
Even better, work on generating some calculations for your return on investment (ROI), and keep that information handy for just the right time. It might be during your salary review, or it might be during a business planning meeting for next year’s IT budget, but whenever the time comes, you’ll be ready to highlight the accomplishments of what YOU and your team have done for the business in terms of hard evidence and dollars saved. Plus, when you share these victories, you’ll be explaining to the executives what you really do, and how you impact the business in a concrete way (because, sometimes, they really don’t have any idea what you actually do besides maybe fix their cell phones…).
So, I challenge you to make 2021 the year that you start to elevate the importance of your IT team by showing what your direct impact is on the company. If you’re lucky, that might even lead to a bigger budget and/or a bigger salary, but don’t just take my word for it…try it out for yourself!
written by Jeffrey W. Glaze, President