Why IT matters

Technologists exist for change. If nothing changed, my job wouldn’t exist. Often, we find ourselves in the position where the decision falls to us, even if it means implementing a solution that we will never use ourselves. Because of this critical role that we play when finding solutions, how we make decisions is vital to our success, and the success of the organization we work for. These are some factors in the process we use for finding good solutions.

  • Security first
  • Pick the right tool.
  • Build only what you need.
  • Solutions should be specialized.
  • Solutions should be production ready.
  • The tool doesn’t use itself.
  • Leverage as much automation as you can.

Security first.

Technology is complex. That complexity inherently introduces the possibility of flaws and vulnerabilities. There are several ways to build security into a particular solution, but it’s easiest when there is a culture on the IT side of the house that is security centric.

Rather than battle between function and safety, every IT function should be thought of as an opportunity to strengthen the cyber security of the organization


Security should be first, without losing sight of usability.

Pick the right tool.

Brands have a tendency to draw people in and create loyalists. To be truly effective, an IT department should look for the right tool for the job, regardless of personal bias or preference.

Apple, Microsoft, Google, and the open source community all offer valid solutions to many of our challenges. Being tied down to one brand or way of thinking severely limits the options available.


Better solutions come from more open minds.

Build only what you need.

There is a balance between developing in-house solutions that the IT department can maintain optimally and outsourcing the core components of a solution such as the hosting and development of it.

There is great value in an IT department having more control over a system. A tool that is developed in-house, hosted in-house, and supported in-house is usually much more effective: issues are resolved more quickly, and features are tailored directly for end user needs.

The challenge with fully in-house tools is the amount of time it takes to develop and maintain them. The best way to determine whether to develop or host internally or outsource is to identify the importance to the organizations success, and weight that against the time available to the IT team.


IT department time must be optimized for effectiveness.

Solutions should be specialized.

The purpose of an IT department is to enable an organization to get things done more effectively. Rather than offering generic tools, good technology solutions are tailored to the needs of an organization. 

The ideal solution can only be found by listening carefully to the needs of the individuals doing the work. It is important to spend time face to face with people throughout an organization in order to better understand what the right technology solutions are and how best to implement them.


Tailored technology solutions are much more effective than generic ones.

Solutions should be production ready.


When an end user receives either a piece of equipment or a software solution, they should have the utmost confidence that it is a solid tested and proven solution. Every IT department needs to determine what it will define as “production ready”. 

The challenge is that IT budgets put constraints on the level of quality that can be delivered. As a result, it becomes very important that IT personnel test solutions before offering them up to end users.

In hardware, this means balancing cost and quality when selecting a device, and running it through its paces personally, sometimes for days on end before handing it to the end user.

When offering software solutions, the same principle applies. Each offering should be tested and proven before being delivered.

Confidence results from consistent reliability.

The tool doesn’t use itself.

Tools, applications, and software solutions can sometimes be touted as being able to do your work for you. Although a better tool is sometimes the right decision, it is important to recognize that the tool is only valuable when it is used.

As an example, maintaining a correct device inventory is a challenging task for the end user support technician. There are many tools and many ways to maintain a proper inventory of IT equipment, and any of them can be very effective. However, if you forget to enter a change into the system, it becomes useless.

Diligence is important on every team, regardless of the tools they use.

Leverage as much automation as you can.

We happen to be building solutions on computers, and since computers happen to be really good at repeating things, it makes sense to do things with automation in mind.

The “never repeat yourself” mantra is quite valuable to the IT professional.


Security should be first, without losing sight of usability.