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Dan Hounsell: Communication With IT Department Critical to Success
There is no end to the line of people maintenance and engineering managers need to cozy up to in an organization. Learn to talk to the C-suite, managers are told. Speak the language of finance to make headway with the purchasing department and other financial types, they hear. Talk to your customers.
While all of these conversations have long been essential for success in institutional and commercial facilities, I’ll add one more to the list — one that speaks to the future of facilities perhaps more than any other. Talk to your organization’s information technologies (IT) department.
For the foreseeable future, the meat-and-potatoes issues of successfully managing maintenance and engineering departments are not likely to change. Hire qualified technicians. Provide opportunities for training and advancement. Specify quality products. Look for opportunities to save the organization money and improve its sustainability.
Managers cannot afford to rest on those issues, though. Facilities technology is moving too quickly, and top executives are making too many important decisions each day that dictate the way technology will affect facilities in the coming years and decades. From mobile computerized maintenance management systems and the Internet of Things to building information modeling and server-laden data centers, the technology issues facing organizations can seem daunting.
Establishing clear communication with an organization’s IT leaders is essential for managers hoping to stay abreast of these evolving issues and, more importantly, to influence key decisions in ways that incorporate the needs and goals of their departments. Just as importantly, the strategy also can position managers as champions of facilities technology.
Dan Hounsell offers observations about trends in maintenance and engineering management and the evolving role of managers in facilities. Agree? Disagree? Have something to say? We want to hear from you. Visit myfacilitiesnet.com/danhounsell, and start a conversation.