Wednesday, June 5, 2013

How to Promote IT Effectively

The best way to promote IT is to communicate proactively with critical thinking and a creative mind.

It is no secret that IT can often only be noticed when things are broken, the CIO and his/her team should be the leading persons driving that message of IT value throughout the enterprise. They are, after all, the face of the IT organization. The key challenge is to demonstrate what you provide can help the client achieve some critical purpose of theirs.

1. Marketing IT through Proactive Communications              

Either to internal or external audiences, promoting IT is to achieve business objectives. Modern CIOs and other IT leaders do need to become good marketers themselves in order to engage in business communication and change. IT reputation from a cost center to a value center. Besides a clear message from IT leaders, it's more effective and efficient to train all client-facing IT people to become better at influence. All communicators must understand the messaging and use it.

2. Successful Communication Achieves Clear Business Goals

Successful communication programs are designed to affect change or encourage adoption of a product or service -- internally or externally. And it must be ongoing, consistent and measurable to achieve results. Try to do this by providing system availability stats, actual cost savings related to IT efforts (such as automating a manual task), and clearly defining the value of development efforts often in terms of revenue enhancement. In addition, it may also be persuasive when selling the costs associated with redundancy, DR and Business Continuity as insurance, while calculating and communicating realistic costs of downtime is critical to justify and address budgetary concerns

3. Good IT Promotion to get Business Buy-In

To persuade people to fund a program, adopt a product or change the way they do things. You must understand who your audiences are and what their specific concerns are and then create consistent communications that address those concerns. And IT should cultivate talent with multiple skill sets including how to influence others, understand both business & technology, cure the root cause of problems, instead of just fixing the symptom, especially now, IT needs to work more collaboratively with marketing department & other functions to drive outside-in customer-centric solutions.

4. The Message must be Written for what's Relevant 

Target each audience's specific concerns. - Is the proposal compelling? Does it address a critical purpose or goal? - Is it valid? (Can you demonstrate - to a non-technical person - that it will work as claimed?).  Is it implementable? (Can you execute if we commit). The messaging needs to be written that's relevant to tailor customers' needs and achieve clear business goals.

5. Communication Assets 

Diversified content (blogs, website content, brochures, posters, talking points, email content, internal and external PowerPoint presentations, etc.) need to be written and designed in terms that are relevant to the intended audience and distributed via channels that are used by the targeted audience. Why create a newsletter if you don't have an email list to distribute it to or why blog if you don't keep content fresh and also create awareness for your blog? 

6. Understand both Business & IT Language Proficiently

The effective IT promotion skill is to know how to explain technical concepts to technical people and non-technical people. They also can have the expertise to understand the value and benefit of an IT initiative and how that will positively change an organization or business process. It's a specialty that requires a blend of technical understanding and expertise in best practices in communications.

The best way to promote IT is to communicate more proactively with critical thinking and creative mind, the clear message from IT is to have business buy-in, grow IT as change/innovation engine, and IT needs to communicate the new perspective effectively in order for the organization as a whole to move forward. 


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