Stay Puft & the Gatekeeper - Photo by Great Beyond I’ve been an IT guy for a darn long time, and as I’ve said before, it was a great career.  I’m sure I’ll revisit it from time to time – I’m too much a tech-geek to abandon it completely.  One thing I know from experience is that IT is many times a bigger bottleneck than we tend to admit.  So as I move into new areas as an advocate for and a professional in social media I understand the issues from both sides of the fence.

Some folks scoff at how IT always seems to pull the security card on attempts to do new, inventive, creative things.  It’s but one of many things that corporate IT departments have to consider when someone brings up something new.  Other things can range from support costs (obviously) to recovering from disasters.  New systems really do consist of much more than just buying and installing software.

Interestingly, it’s not always management in IT that causes the roadblock.  In fact, IT leadership is often well equipped to be advocates of change in the organization.  Even with tight budgets, IT is almost always looking to help position the company for growth.  However, remember they’re biggest responsibility is to maintain existing systems and provide a secure, reliable environment.

So the question is then, how can you get IT to be interested and prioritize your project?

The answer is to get them involved early.  Very early.  In fact, they should be among your first stops when you’re looking for supporters and stakeholders.  What usually happens with many a project is that the technology aspect get’s pulled in way too late for the project’s original timeline.  All this does is turn it into another firedrill project with folks working long hours and weekends to make it happen.

However, if you get IT involved at the beginning, they’ll help with estimating real costs.  They’ll help figure out realistic timelines.  They will be a key part of making your project succeed.

Contrary to what you may think, Information Technology isn’t just about databases, operating systems and all the computers in the office, they too get excited about learning new things.  The realization that social media, and new ways of doing business is important to them too.

Photo credit: Great Beyond

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