Discuss the potential conflicts that might occure between that of IT and Operations Management.  How might such issues be addressed and resolved.

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M.P. Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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The main issues with IT and OM that arise within a business setting stem from bad communication particularly in these areas:

  • maintenance budgeting- this is entirely up to the OM. With so many updates taking place at all times, devices must be always ready for remote installation and for upgrading. If an operations manager does not allocate a budget to refresh and upgrade equipment there is very little that the IT can do to keep the systems running optimally.
  • maintenance scheduling-  IT personnel (NOT Operations managers) must be the ones deciding when maintenance of technology should take place. They should submit the schedule for OM approval, not otherwise. Only the IT knows how long a program will last until it needs attention, and only the IT should decide how often devices should be updated. If an operations manager has a micromanaging style where he or she has to be into everything, then there is the danger of ruining the technology dynamics of a workplace.
  • employee training- IT and OM must agree upon when is a good time for employees to take the time to train upon what is available, how to use it, and how to take care of it responsibly. For this, a number of things should be considered:  a) reporting attendance (signature list),  b) signatures for acknowledgement of new information, c) user agreement,  and d) evidence of the training taking place. The IT should provide the training or build one online for the users to access. The OM should provide a budget for the training, allot the time, and agree to the terms with the IT.
  • resourcing-  an operations manager that does not know his job may hinder the IT's job of providing the latest and fastest resources for networking and collaborating. These days networking and collaborating are entirely dependent on the speed at which the data reaches each networking device. Therefore, it is up to the IT to protect the resources in place when it comes to networking, media, and technology. It is also up to the IT to suggest news ones and to replace whatever is obsolete. This happens more often than not, therefore, a good communication must be in place with the OM to ensure that the budget and permissions are on record prior to make changes. 

The only way to ensure that no issues arise out of these areas is a clear plan of action from the IT that includes

  • resource information and explanation of what each thing is
  • budget proposal w/ itemization of what each thing costs (always providing lower price bids)
  • calendar for scheduling training
  • purpose of training
  • purpose for documentation
  • service schedule (updating, maintenance)
  • service rates (how much will the IT charge for a period of time, and for what services)
  • contact information (including 24/7 availability)

Only good, clear, concise and evidence-based communication precludes open doors for action in business.

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