Each year, companies reveal the “new” corporate vision and how THIS year is going to be different. That corporate buzz many times does not translate in the same way to all departments. The executives who swell with enthusiasm as they boast of the grand plan for change often do not consider the departments instrumental in the achievement of those goals. Telecommunications/IT, or simply IT in some companies, is core to growth. Even today, many executives consider telecom/IT nothing more than a necessary evil, a basic business expense. Shame on them and shame on the culture created as a result. The corporate greed engine is constantly looking to reduce the budget. Telecom/IT tends to take the brunt of financial restrictions. I argue that without investment into this business-critical part of every large company, achieving the corporate vision becomes a Vegas long shot at best. Without telecommunications, there is no company, there is no growth, no profit!
Corporations must invest in telecom/IT as a strategic asset, as a business driver, as the difference between profit and loss. Communications professionals generally feel they don’t get the financial or operational support to do what is needed. I spoke with a gentleman the other day who just lost three of his staff due to budget cuts with no plan to rehire those positions. I asked what happened to the duties of the three who are gone. Who on the team is now accountable? The reality, he told me, is that those functions will be picked up “as best as they can.” Bottom line, those functions are left to chance. As long as this one guy or reduced staff can keep any drama to a minimum, the organization’s executives will feel the cut was successful and not realize the risk they created.
The needs of telecom/IT professionals get lost in translation far too much. Let’s face it: The CFO does not understand telecom or IT speak. It is your responsibility to provide information that is clear and easy to understand. Take something complex and translate it into risk avoidance, or profit or loss for the company. How does what you propose impact the bottom line? What are the technical, financial, operational and corporate impacts? If you submit a budget each year with no business case expect it to get shot down. If your business case is technical gibberish that financial folks cannot understand, then again, you wasted your time. Instead of just accepting the corporate vision, become instrumental in creating it. Don’t allow the corporate greed engine to stifle investment in telecommunications and IT.
“The Buyers Advocate”