As your company shifts away from on-premises solutions and opts for a cloud migration strategy involving virtual PBX systems and other offsite solutions, it's understandable if you feel anxious. But if the question is, "What's left for tech experts when everything is outsourced?" — the reassuring answer is: Plenty!
The fact is that nothing runs without the expertise of dedicated and experienced staff. This is particularly relevant for corporate IT pros both during and after a cloud migration. Think of it as the new tech normal, as organizations turn to their IT experts to successfully navigate. Here's a look at the changing role of IT pros.
The PBX Problem
It's no secret that companies are moving to cloud communications. However, you may be reluctant to let go of that on-premises PBX system. Why? Well, as the managing IT pro, you're in charge. You know the ins and outs of the tech, the reasons it won't work under certain circumstances, how to get almost supernatural performance out of it, and how to coax it back to life when C-suite and front-line staff members express frustration. In short, you're indispensable. So, what happens when your company starts trending toward the cloud?
Not Without Me
Bottom line? The cloud is coming. Migration is often slow but steady, and as organizations become more comfortable with the idea of third-party providers handling their data, cloud migration is inevitable. So, what does this mean for the in-house PBX expert who may be unsure about the future? It depends on your attitude. One option here is to dig in your heels and demand that your on-premises PBX systems stay the course. This might work for a few years, but as legacy tech ages out, moving off-premises is the only option.
Your other choice? Take charge and own the move. Migrations don't happen in a vacuum, and the move from onsite to provider-hosted can require substantive technical expertise. By getting in on the ground floor, you can help set service expectations and play an essential role in selecting the right provider. For example, if your company is making the transition to SIP trunking, you're the ideal candidate to ensure new tech is deployed in high-availability pairs, all network regions are optimized for voice over internet protocol (VoIP) traffic, and quality-of-service tools are in place to ensure calls are clear and consistent.
Dig deep into your new PBX and discover what makes it tick and where you can maximize efficiency. Start thinking big instead of solving small.
The Next Level
Taking things a step further, you can also manage the implementation process and develop a future-first viewpoint that addresses new strategic and tactical challenges. Use your cloud migration strategy as the starting point to choose which services and solutions you can implement to increase IT impact.
As CIO Magazine points out, the IT pro's role is transforming from operating IT to orchestrating IT. This transition elevates IT's profile to an even greater stature, giving you a new opportunity to champion technology innovation at your organization. But what exactly does being strategic look like in the context of this new IT normal? Here are some ways to start:
- Get Visible: To end users within an organization, the IT department may seem invisible when things are working as intended. But that perception can change when issues frequently arise and IT can't respond fast enough. Now that you have a cloud-based PBX system, it's possible to change user perception with better monitoring and response tools. For example, end-user analytics or call metrics software can help improve the lives of C-suite executives and front-line staff alike. Hey, who doesn't want to be the hero?
- Align IT With the Business: It's crucial to forge positive working relationships with your peers in this line of business. Be curious about how they experience technology on a day-to-day basis. Invite them to share both their pain points (maybe phone spam is putting a crimp in their productivity?) and their wish lists for what could help them be more effective in their roles. By becoming an expert on how the business works, you'll be able to design better technology solutions to help it thrive. In time, you'll also notice that more of your colleagues don't simply think of you as a firefighter or an order-taker anymore but as what you are: An IT leader.
- Be Vigilant: Another way to empower strategic efforts is to find new areas of improvement. Maybe you have some legacy server hardware that could use an upgrade, or your move to cloud-based communications also prompts a look at the hybrid cloud. Or, dig deep into your new PBX and discover what makes it tick and where you can maximize efficiency. Start thinking big instead of solving small.
- Talk, Talk, Talk: That's right, start talking. Chat up C-suite executives, get invited to board meetings, and volunteer your time to create presentations about cloud rollout plans or the merits of new enterprise infrastructure. You might not feel super comfortable here at first, but this is the new normal for top-tier IT pros. It often helps to be as social as you are tech-savvy.
- Modernize Your Own IT: You probably have a never-ending to-do list that you're pretty sure replenishes itself every night, while IT's responsibilities are becoming more complex every year. Still, you're going to need time to adapt to this new IT leadership role. Modernizing your own IT — whether that's by taking advantage of cloud PBX systems that streamline administrative tasks or by automating certain time-consuming IT processes — can make the leap easier.
Cloud migration is coming. Get on board with streamlining the transition, taking a step back, and adopting a more strategic role.