Your association depends on technology. Someone has to manage that technology, its strategy, its operations, its dependencies, and its day-to-day. You may have a CIO, either in-house if you are a larger organization, or an outsourced vCIO such as Cimatri can provide. But let’s take it a step further. Who else is in your IT corner? And what exactly is your IT organizational structure?
Chances are your organization may fall into one of these situations:
- You haven’t planned your IT structure – it just happened.
- Your IT structure is outdated — the association strategy has changed and IT org structure has not.
- Your association is growing, and IT can’t keep up.
- You have noticed a high level of redundant processes that are causing delays and work duplication, not to mention “shadow IT,” where staff are coming up with their own technology to solve immediate problems.
Taking a look at your IT organizational structure is part of the bigger IT strategy picture and should be part of a solid technology assessment. Discovery here involves questions like:
- What technology are we using? Do we have a full list of everything that everyone is using?
- Do we have someone who can manage that technology?
- Do we have someone who can master that technology?
- Have we kept up with skills?
- Are IT staff doing the right work?
- Do we have vendors/outsourced services that we employ to manage technology?
- What skills do they bring to the association?
- What do our job descriptions say about skills, abilities, expectations, tasks?
- Is the IT organizational structure aligned with IT strategy and overall association strategic plans?
- Do they help carry the association mission forward?
A review of IT organization structure gives you the reassurance that you are making the best possible use of the people you have on staff, their skills and abilities, and assigning them the correct job functions. It may also lead to considering an IT organizational restructure.
However, let’s not rush ahead and assume that will solve all our problems. Info-Tech Research reports that 60% of organizations have attempted to make an IT organizational redesign in the last 2 years— and 77% of those org designs have failed.
Understanding and following research-driven best practices for structuring your IT team make a difference in the outcome. And putting those best practices into action— not just a strategy plan on paper that never becomes reality— is key. Some actionable best practices for building a strategic and effective IT team include:
- Synchronize IT organizational design with IT and overall strategy.
- Be clear about roles and responsibilities.
- Design department layer by layer.
- Offer opportunities for IT staff to be trained and become proficient in current and new technologies.
- Don’t wait for a crisis. This is where risky decisions get made.
Given the current environment in the association world, now is a very good time to consider whether you have the right technology and that the people assigned to manage that technology have the skills and ability to do so successfully. Setting up your IT team to be successful allows them to do their best job supporting and promoting the association’s mission.
Browse our IT strategy guide to learn more about how you can align your technology strategy and organization with your larger business vision.