By Jim Wong, CPA | April 22, 2015

“Simplicity is the peak of civilization.” — Jessie Sampter

As technology continues to be a driving force behind businesses’ bottom line, it’s imperative for the leaders of the technology function to be in sync with the other leaders of the company. From finance managers and leaders to the executive leadership and c-levels, the information and data must make sense to everyone in order for the functions to align.

With the vast amounts of data now available through various advanced technologies, sometimes going back to the basics is the answer to understanding the information. It takes a savvy and knowledgeable IT leader to be able to sift through the technical noise and effectively communicate the data to the stakeholders at hand. These professionals are viewed as very valuable players in the field. recently published CEO Wants CIO to Keep Things Simple, an article discussing ways for IT leadership to be successful in their role by keeping things simple. I think this can be applied to manager and leadership roles across all functions, including accounting and finance, in addition to the c-level suite. Based on my experience, I’ve highlighted a few key points below that I think will help the IT, finance and executive functions all stay on the same page.

Here are the 3 Ways to Keep IT Simple:

1. Only bring the right information
There really is a limitless amount of data accessible to businesses in today’s market. This overabundance of information does not necessarily equate to better analysis and decision making. But, by being able to ascertain which historical data is best used to predict future data, or by determining which behaviors and factors affect market trends, allows you to pull from the massive data points and dig into what’s really important. This will ultimately appease executive leadership and shed you in a respectable light if you can extract the right information.
2. Think more business and communication
Technology managers and leaders – just like finance managers and leaders – are as much a part of the business as the c-level. As times continue to change, IT professionals have to start thinking less about technology and more about the business as a whole. Information Technology is an essential for most business organizations. As a result, understanding the importance of communication is essential for IT professionals to be effective. Taking information that would easily fit into 50 pages worth of data, and summing it up in one page, is exactly what business leaders are looking for from their technology counterparts. Furthermore, the most successful IT managers I work with think about real deliverables in the short term while getting to the overall strategy in the long term. It’s all about simplicity.
3. Drive innovation with small groups
There’s no denying that innovation is the future of business. Innovation can be seen in several capacities. One way I have seen effective IT leaders discover innovated ways to simplify the technology function is by assigning smaller groups to brainstorm new ideas instead of using one large group. Often times, people are less intimidated to offer their ideas and solutions in smaller group settings. As a result, you’ll be able to uncover more nuggets of information that can be impactful over time. Remember, that retrieving information in today’s world is immediate and only takes milliseconds. So, it’s important to simplify it all in a slow and steady, back-to-the-basics manner.

What are some other ways to simplify information technology? Comment below and let us know!

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