TriCom Technical Services

More Than Plugging the Gaps

In Guest Posts on August 13, 2010 at 9:08 pm

Managing an Information Technology (I.T.) staffing organization that has worked with countless companies both large and small, I often find myself in a debate about what an I.T. department actually “does”…or more importantly, what an I.T. division actually means to the overall organization paying the fees for our staffing service.


Throughout TriCom’s sixteen years in business, we have experienced a pretty wide spectrum in what I will call “working karma” with a client company.  The spectrum ranges from our service being treated as a “necessary evil” to a “true partner” in helping an I.T. hiring manager achieve his or her overall goal of providing for their end user by having the right professional talent to do the job. Generally, the difference between these two extremes lies at the feet of how a company views their I.T. department to begin with. Furthermore, “the job” or in other words, the specific project being supplemented with I.T. contract staff – is usually at the very epicenter of this debate.

Whether an I.T. department is a cost center or profit center is an on-going debate for another day, but suffice it to say that really any project that I.T. endeavors to accomplish for the larger institution is usually to make some external or internal group of people (“end users”) happy. Whether that group is an internal business unit or an external group of people outside the company, the usual aim of most I.T. projects is about helping people do their jobs more effectively.

What gets lost in the mix, however, is how Information Technology can be used as a strategic partner in taking advantage of the business opportunities of tomorrow – which ultimately turns into cash for the overall company. A company that engages I.T. professionals with a good understanding of their overall business often times can create new revenue streams with its external, or sometimes even, internal users.


Let’s face it, the “Information Age” sometimes gives way to information overload and more times than not at TriCom, we have seen instances where certain I.T. projects are adding to, versus taking away, the peripheral issues I.T.’s end-user communities have to deal with. At the end of the day, an I.T. group’s main goal should be about making their end-user’s job easier – helping them keep the main thing the main thing. A company that positions their best and brightest I.T. professionals to regularly engage their end-user communities is most times very surprised to find that there are opportunities abound if they simply ask periodically about the future problems on the horizon for their end-users.

I.T. can be, and should be, intimately involved with what it can do to help its institutions paying customers as the world becomes more and more complex. A lot of times, the work I.T. is occupied with is present-day oriented which is all well and good but if the larger institution realizes that other pains develop during the course of this ever expanding information-flow, they will find end-user communities willing to pay, or find the money to pay for, other issues that are beginning to develop but, as yet, haven’t sounded sirens. Moreover, these are the very opportunities that create new business and in turn, more cash for the overall organization which should be the main focus when all is said and done.


The very best companies these days move beyond “profit vs. cost” in debating I.T.’s role and look simply at profitability for the organization as a whole. A productive I.T. department is one that is used to facilitate future revenue-producing opportunities by engaging their paying end-user customers about what else they need and will need down the road. It’s been our experience, that therein lies the difference between the companies that truly know how to “partner” (and hence partner TriCom) versus those who use I.T. to plug the gaps.

Perhaps this is too simplistic but you’d be surprised to find out how many companies seem to fall on one side of the spectrum or the other.

Guest blog post authored by Matt Sharples, Owner/CEO of TriCom Technical Services.


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