Remember the last time you needed a real person to give you directions? Some people provided milestones and markers, making it easy to find your way. Others were a lot more vague and in the end, not very helpful. How often did you end up completely on the other side of town, nowhere near where you wanted to be, and you had to go back and retrace your steps trying to figure out where you went wrong? This only resulted in increasing your stress level and causing you to be late. Such was was life before the wonderful technological advancement of auto GPS systems.
You’ve spent a lot of time selecting a vacation spot on the beach you’ve never been to before. Your flight has arrived and you’ve picked up your rental car. Now what? How do you get to your final destination? Do you just drive until you hit the coast and start searching? No – you were also smart enough to plan and have a GPS to help you find your way. Your final destination has been input and the course plotted.
With proper preparation, your IT department can be like the GPS in your car — planning the best route to your destination, avoiding slowdowns and getting you to the beach by lunch. However, if IT doesn’t have all the information to plot your company’s course, or is not given the information in a timely manner, you can end up bogged down in traffic or taking the scenic route instead of the interstate, ruining your trip with frustration and disappointment.
Carrier IT departments need to have a firm understanding of where the business wants to go so they can design their target architecture in order to plan the best route to get there. As you know from adjusting your car navigation system, the best route to your destination isn’t always the most direct, or the fastest. Traffic jams of requirements documentation, technology learning ‘S’ curves, and poorly timed stop lights can make the most direct routes take the longest.
Management should not decide to venture into a new line of business, issue a policy, and drop the policy off with IT to enter into a non-existent system. The result can only be chaos in a poorly planned and hurried repository saturated with wasted money and time. Without proper notification and planning, a carrier’s IT department becomes reactive instead of proactive, definitely limiting their capability to support the business and help the organization grow. This dramatically increases the difficulty to introduce new lines of business and does not improve your company’s ease of doing business for your agents and customers, pushing them further away. Even the most strategic, brilliant, masterful business plan fails if you don’t have the technical infrastructure to support it.
By keeping IT part of the business planning process, they can help plot the best course and work with you to build a platform for the future that can support your growing organization.