There are some jobs where you don’t get to deliver much good news. CPA’s. Attorneys. Anesthesiologists. No one thanks the anesthesiologist. They just notice them if there’s a problem. Same thing with the CIA. They probably thwart a large number of crimes that we’ll never hear about. But people pay attention to the mistakes, the problems. The bad news.
Comcast probably doesn’t get many calls from customers saying “hey, just wanted you to know that the internet worked great today for me” – so when you hear people talking about Comcast, it’s usually to complain.
As an IT person, what percentage of your time communicating with clients is about good news? “I got your computer working again” might sound like good news to the IT person, but to the end-user, it usually just means they are finally able to get back to work.
Two questions: does this really matter, and what can you do about it?
It does matter. If your clients/customers/end-users associate you with bad news, you’ll remain a “plumber” in their eyes, or at best an attorney – where they know they need your help, but don’t really like the interactions (or the bill). You’ll be seen either as overhead, or a cost (instead of an investment), and ultimately as a commodity.
What you can do is to share in the successes. Sometimes it’s a simple changing of wording – instead of “you lost 70% of your data”, you could say “we were able to save 30% of your data.” – this really works, and it’s not just PR spin.
There are other metrics, something that most IT people don’t typically utilize unless they’re in larger enterprise environments. “We were able to reduce spam by ___% which resulted in ____ fewer messages being delivered, or around ____ hours in employee productivity.” – C-level executives understand what that means.
But most importantly, you can deliver good news which is something you may be overlooking, undervaluing, and underselling.
Announcing or enumerating threats that the firewall has prevented will help with justifying other security investments in the future.
Sharing man hours saved due to spam prevention demonstrates real cost savings.
Restoring uptime due to a well-implemented backup system will keep many CEO’s pleased with the risk management.
In most organizations the sales staff or the executive team usually gets the credit – they are like the surgeons. But the anesthesiologist keeps the patient alive. So does IT. And in some cases, IT makes the company safer, more profitable, more competitive, more agile, most resilient, and the list goes on.Not sure how to articulate your IT department’s good news? Either you’ll need a hand with it (contact us) or maybe you’re not producing enough goodness?