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involves educating the IT department. Some IT personnel will rely on higher education user groups, specialized training from vendors and outside professionals to stay current on new technology (Marietta College interview, CIO). While others will rely on IT directors, industry publications and peers to accomplish this task (Marietta College interview, CFO). This is very important as technology evolves morerapidly than it can be tested, adopted, and deployed within organizations. Economic expectations are that any deployed capital asset (hardware or software) will last at least 5 years, but in most cases IT assets are obsolete in less time than that, which further drives costs up (Company Interview, In-country IT Manager). Examples of this can be seen in school computer labs becoming wireless as well as smart classrooms being adopted. Staying up to date with technological advances as well as training both information technology personnel and general employees will significantly impact an organization in a positive way. In today’s economy maintaining qualified staff is imperative to an organization’s success. Retention of qualified employees, as well as staffing in general, is another issue that information technology departments are struggling to manage. In certain organizations “the largest cost of providing IT services is staff” (Company Interview, In-country IT Manager). With staff costs being so high it is criticalto retain experienced and trained staff. During weak economic times this is less of a problem but during good times it becomes significant. The expected global economic improvement will likely take a toll on experienced staff in all IT centers globally (Company Interview, In-country IT Manager). “Companies
Team 24IT’s Role as a Strategic Partner Within an Organization FINAL REPORTSCH-MGMT 632 Page 7 of 11must maximize their return on talent because as IT becomes more intricate and involved employees will need to possess these attributes as well.” (McAfee, 2008) With staff being the largest expense in an information technology department’s budget it is crucial that the money is being spent on the right caliber of employee for the department to reach the goals set forth for the entire organization. When the economy is bustling is it very easy for employees to “jump ship” to a higher paying position and IT departments must be willing to acknowledge, prepare for, and accept this risk when determining how to manage their department. For many end application users within an organization the only time they call upon the IT department is when the system they are using has failed in one way or another. Reliability of the systems employed within an organization falls upon the IT department and therefore is another issuethey must deal with daily. Not only must the system be reliable but it must also be efficient for everyone within the organization. When a system fails in any manor, money is lost and someone within the company must answer for it; IT is normally responsible for figuring this out. Employee time is very