A coworker told me about an article he read last week that said IT departments spend at least 44% of their staff time doing routine work and simply keeping things running. Given the current situation, this is expected to increase substantially over the coming months. If this percentage rises to 50%, or even as high as 75%, it begs the question: When do you find the time to get anything done? As we look beyond just keeping the lights on, we have capital projects, major system upgrades, building renovations and just cool things we want to do. So many times, I see discussions on the listserv about projects you all are doing, and I think to myself – wow, that sounds awesome. And then, I remember that I have absolutely no time to do any more projects.
One of the major responsibilities of an IT department is to create efficiencies and improved processes for our agencies. We create paperless workflow systems, telephone auto attendants and other systems that allow others to get their work done quicker and more efficiently. However, how much of these projects benefit us in our own internal IT operations? In creating these automatic systems for others, we are indirectly creating more work for ourselves, as the support and maintenance for these new systems falls on us.
This issue never really hit home with me until I heard about that article. My department would be considered small in the grand scheme of things, but what I wouldn’t give to have some of the daily operational tasks automated. As I’m writing this, my mind is scrolling through the endless possibilities of things that I would love to implement to make my day more productive, but I don’t have time because I’m busy with other things. Sound familiar?
As I climb down off the soap box, I’d like to mention a couple of things new in the TAGITM world. Some of our agencies across the state have begun to sign interlocal agreements as a way to share IT resources and staffing in the event of an emergency. One agency in an area agrees to be the host city, and then others join to form a group using the same agreement. As of today, we have two working groups across the state. It’s a great way to get a framework in place, should something happen.
The second thing is two membership incentive programs that you may not know about. If your agency refers two other new agencies to TAGITM and they become members, your agency gets a free year of membership, valued at $175. In addition to that, if you are a brand-new member agency, you get the first year of membership for free. We all know that TAGITM has so much to offer, so spread the word to those cities, counties and ISDs in your area that don’t yet know about us.
Have a great November!