Information technology (IT) has become a crucial part of conducting business. From your company website to your databases and applications, nearly every aspect of your business relies on technology and your IT department’s ability to maintain it. With IT playing such a significant role in the operation of businesses, it is imperative for management to have a clear understanding of how their IT department is doing.
Why Evaluations Are Necessary
Evaluations are necessary – especially in your IT department. They essentially help you to get a better idea of where your department is. Evaluations allow you to compare where you are to where you want to be, thus giving business owners the opportunity to assess whether they’re meeting company goals. Thorough evaluations can help businesses correct issues and make improvements that will ultimately lead to improved productivity and streamlined processes.
Ideally, when conducting an IT evaluation you want to answer the following questions:
· Is the department headed in the right direction?
· Are the IT employees satisfied?
· Do you have the best software/technology to conduct business?
· Are there areas that could use improvement?
1. Document Workflow
The first step would be to gather information to assess where your IT department is presently. In order to measure performance of the department, you must first have a clear understanding of the daily workflow of the department. Now that you know what it is they do every day, you can make a determination as to whether these processes are working, whether you need to consider upgrades, or if you need to enlist the help of a third-party service provider such as Firewall Technical, a company that offers IT support in Ottawa.
2. Evaluate Each Process
Now that you have a clear outline of what is completed every day, you can review each task/project to determine whether or not it is still effective and efficient for your company needs. As you evaluate each task or project within the IT department, you’ll want to answer a few key questions:
· Is this process working currently?
· What (if any) issues or hindrances prevent the staff from performing more efficiently?
· Are projects or tasks completed timely? If not, what is the reason?
· Are projects being completed within the projected budget guidelines? If not, can you cut the costs without disturbing workflow?
· What is the ROI on applications and technological resources used within the department?
Answering these questions may require you to meet with management or senior staff from the IT department. They can help you in evaluating each process and addressing any concerns or issues the department may have with using certain technologies.
3. Conduct Employee Satisfaction Survey
An IT department is only going to be as successful as the staff that you employ. If you have a group of employees that are dissatisfied with their jobs, unhappy working with coworkers, or feeling overwhelmed then it can slow down the productivity in the department and hinder its efficiency.
While you can work with your HR department to get a better understanding of how your IT staff performs as employees in general (i.e. attendance, work ethic, etc.), the only way you’re going to get a clear understanding of what your staff needs to perform better is by conducting periodic assessments. Here are questions you’ll want to ask as you evaluate your staff:
· Are you satisfied with the working environment? Does management provide you with a safe and decent environment to perform your duties?
· Do you feel overworked? If so, what might make it easier?
· Do you believe there are technologies or resources that could make doing your job easier?
· Are there trainings you’re interested in attending or things you’d like to learn more about?
IT is extremely crucial to your business. Whether you have a small department comprised of one or two individuals, freelancers who work remotely, or a larger department it is imperative to have a periodic evaluation and assessment to ensure the department is running as efficiently as possible. If you find that you need assistance in conducting this evaluation or in establishing new processes, working with a third-party IT support company or consultant is ideal.