Your IT Department is not a Cost Centre

From Wikipedia, “A cost centre or cost center is a division within a business which is financed from the profit margin adding to the cost of the organization, but contributing to its profit indirectly.

Well, OK, technically it might be a cost centre.

But describing something in terms of cost sounds pretty negative.  And I’d even say that if you’re thinking about technology only in terms of cost, or as if it were some mundane necessity to doing business, you are probably doing it wrong. It may be that you have a hard time quantifying the effect of technology on your organization. So let’s go back to the basics. Why do we even need technology in our businesses in the first place?

““Man is a toolmaker, has the ability to make a tool to amplify the amount of inherent ability that he has…what we are doing is building tools that amplify a human ability…the industrial revolution was an amplification of a human ability, sweat…What we are working towards now is the ability to amplify another human ability and we are just starting to get glimmerings of where it is going to go.”” – Steve Jobs

Whaaaaaaat!!!? Think about that.

Every piece of technology that you have should be amplifying the ability of your employees.

They’ve been granted superpowers that allow them to:

  • communicate across long distances
  • work with multiple customers at the same time
  • remember things forever and easily recall them
  • find anything in a matter of seconds
  • fill out reports and enter data at superhuman speeds
  • easily spot inconsistencies and errors
  • be automatically alerted to problems as if they had a sixth-sense
  • easily accomplish difficult tasks directly related to your business

Your website even keeps on working after everyone’s gone home. I bet you don’t get many calls for your address anymore. It might even take orders and put money in your bank account for you. That’s a smart robot.

Thinking in terms of cost is really missing the point.

Everything you do in regards to technology should really be making every other thing more efficient or capable, and therefore, more profitable. If not, why are you doing it?

Cost centre? More like PROFIT centre steroids!

If you had an employee that could enhance everyone around him or her, you’d probably invest in that guy there. You’d probably pay a fine salary if you had someone that could make everyone else better at their job.

But you already have that. You do. You just didn’t realize it. Or you should… you could hire some smart people to help you with that. Think of the potential!

It might need some training. It might need a little investment, a little love. It might need a department-sized defibrillator to bring the life back.

But just imagine what you could do once you get that mechanical heart pumping those digital performance-enhancing substances through your systems…