How to improve your IT department

November 30, 2022

IT department plays a significant role in every modern business. It is crucial because if your IT department becomes a dumpster fire, it will hurt business operations and increases the risk of losing revenue.

If you’re an IT leader, seeking faster, more efficient department performance is expected.

An inefficient IT department limits your company’s capability to innovate, slows the operation time required to develop new revenue sources, and eventually degrades customer satisfaction.

Fortunately, planning proper strategies to improve your IT department is easier than you think.

If you’ve set your eyes on refining your IT operations, here are some tips to guide you:

Define and communicate goals

Before starting to change how the IT department operates, the most important thing is to define your goals and communicate them clearly to everyone in the department.

This is important to ensure all of your IT staff know where the department is heading to avoid them feeling demotivated by unexpected changes in management. Nobody feels comfortable being kept in the dark.

Be honest with your team members and clearly show them the current state of the business and why the new direction matters to the company in the future.

Explain how their work is tied to the company’s overall strategy and objective.

Remember to set individual goals and review them to keep your team members focused.

Identify any dysfunction within the department.

Before working on your goals, you need to find the root cause of any issues you know inside the IT department.

List out the issues, whether security weakness, SLA delays, priority management, or any other issues that cause your department to become inefficient.

Gather your team to understand all the dysfunction and ask for their feedback on why it is happening and how to solve it.

Keep in mind that if you want to solve any issue efficiently, you need to be wise in your prioritization of the issue. Analyze all the problems and rank them from the least to the most critical issue you need to solve.

After your team is on the same page, you can start planning your new strategy, management, operation, and communication plan.

Invest in training your staff

In this modern era, staff training is no longer optional for companies. You can’t have an efficient department if your staff lacks skills.

To ensure your staff continually improves, it is crucial to train your staff and include the training in their individual goals for you to review.

Depending on your current team, you should identify your staff’s strengths and weaknesses and measure which part of their weaknesses can be filled by training.

In Malaysia, many training solutions are updated with current industry standards and are also covered by the Human Resource Development Fund (HRDF).

You can access the courses virtually or in physical classrooms. It is better for you to discuss with your staff which courses suit them based on their availability and circumstances.

Remember to balance skills diversity and specialization when planning your staff training roadmap. You don’t want your staff to be too specialized in one thing, making them rigid and unable to do other things. But you also don’t want your staff to be the jack of all trades that are master to none.

So, don’t forget about balance.

Equip your staff with the tools they need to succeed

Analyze every tool and software within your IT department. Equipping your staff with legacy software and equipment will make your team work much slower and perform poorly.

The more you can automate your team’s ordinary, repetitive tasks, the more you can save their time and focus on the critical task at hand.

Forcing your employees to do repetitive tasks manually will only cause you trouble in the long run.

Many tools out there can help your employees with mundane work. Check your workflows and evaluate which areas need to be automated and which software will be most effective.

Test out some demos and compare their pros and cons to evaluate which will suit your teams better.

Tracking Their Performance Levels

Use benchmarking to study the performance of your department over time. You can compare the performance of similar departments in other companies and search if there are opportunities for you to improve.

Furthermore, set measurable key performance indicators (KPIs) for you to track. These performance metrics shouldn’t just be about the system availability and uptime.

Track other business metrics relevant to other departments, like innovation, operational performance, alignment with company objectives, performance to budget, and projects and services.

In the long run, all of these will paint a clearer picture of how well your IT department’s actual overall effectiveness.

Tracking these KPIs can also make you easily spot if there are emerging risks that could negatively affect the business.

Seek outside views from a trusted advisor

Sometimes, when you are too focused on achieving a particular outcome, you forget to see the bigger picture and that there might be better ways of achieving your goals.

Also, as an IT leader, you are often so immersed in the technology issues at hand that you sometimes overlook your department’s impact on other business areas.

To avoid this from happening, it’s good for you to try and seek some external pair of eyes to help you gain interesting and powerful insights on the industry trends and tools that could be effective in helping improve your IT department.

Always remember that the external council can only provide insights, but only you and your team can make the change come true.


Creating a high-performance IT department requires a lot of patience and persistence. You can plan all day with metrics and powerful tools, but at the end of the day, you are working with people that need your support and empowerment.

Give opportunity for your staff to self-manage and empower them along the way. Eventually, you will see a positive change in your IT department.

If you need extra pair of eyes to improve your IT department, don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation. Our team of specialists will always be glad to help you.

AXO Technologies Sdn Bhd (1276407-U) is an innovative and thoughtful IT consulting firm based in Selangor, Malaysia. We help organizations solve their IT challenges by leveraging technology in their business process.

With our certified professional team, we strive to provide a better understanding and relationship with our customers.
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