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Stop Sabotaging Productivity, or How to Eliminate IT-Related Bottlenecks

Authored by: Pat Goetz

IT departments everywhere must manage fast-changing cybersecurity threats, provide support and proactive service to its organization, and keep up with digital transformation – all while trying to address the IT talent shortage. A recent report found that workload was listed as the number one challenge of IT workers.   
 

While you don’t work directly in the IT department, your people use technology daily, and the challenges their department faces impact your team’s ability to get things done when a solution isn’t working, or you need to make a change. You rely on IT, who do their best to help, but these days, even the best ones are super busy, and bottlenecks sabotage your workflow.   
 

Why getting tasks done is so difficult 

If you’ve ever tried to get a task completed through IT and felt like you were running into roadblock after roadblock, you aren’t alone. With IT not only working to resolve your request, but also on ways to address the department’s internal challenges, the slowdowns that result create a ripple effect.   
 

Here are a few places where your requests are getting stuck:   
 

  • Lack of legacy applications knowledge. Using legacy applications makes it hard for IT to help your department. IT might not have the expertise in-house to address what you need, especially as employees skilled in legacy apps retire. Talent shortages in the U.S. have tripled in the past 10 years, and demand for information technology workers is expected to grow faster than average, compared to other occupations.   
  • Not enough automation. A lack of automation slows down your workflow and creates a greater risk for errors. And, when you have errors that require IT support, that produces even more bottlenecks. Additionally, with your employees experiencing the benefits of automation in every other aspect of their lives but tedious manual tasks while at work. This puts a significant dent in job satisfaction.   
  • Lack of agility. Old technology doesn’t integrate well with newer technology. This lack of integration creates an increased demand on IT resources. You need technology that integrates well and is agile enough to support your planned growth.  
     

Now, while your IT department continues to improve its service levels, you can do your part to resolve bottlenecks and become more efficient in your own department.  
 

Reduce your reliance on IT  

The first and most obvious way to alleviate the burden placed on your IT department is to reduce your reliance on them. The moment your request enters the IT department, they ask: How urgent is this request? And, depending on the answer and resources required, the resolution can take some time. Waiting too long is frustrating, but it becomes problematic when dealing with demands like keeping up with the newest CMS change.   
 

By upgrading to newer technologies that allow you to handle changes yourself, you reduce your dependence on IT significantly.    
 

As you shop for new solutions, you want to ask: How easy is it to modify? The new solution should be fast and easy to use and require little technological know-how on the part of employees. Making modifications should also not require vendor engagement.  

 

Out-of-the-box solutions get up and running fast. But not being able to customize those solutions is a challenge when you need to make changes quickly and can’t wait on IT support or vendor assistance. So, whatever solution you select, ensure that easy customization is a top priority.   
 

Move from defense to offense  

It’s all too common for health plans and payer organizations to put off upgrading their appeals and grievances technology. But not addressing outdated technology can be a little like ignoring a medical procedure that needs to be done but isn’t a priority right now. Put it off too long, and suddenly the urgency to address the issue creates an emergency. The time to upgrade your existing technology is before you’re facing an audit and the potential violations and fines that will result. Yet, for many, an audit provides the urgency required to act.  
 

Don’t be reactive. Be proactive! And, as you consider your technology options, prioritize solutions that provide automation, eliminate IT bottlenecks, and empower your team to easily make in-house changes.  

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