Everyone at the office relies on the IT department to troubleshoot day-to-day issues with technology. Their tech savviness also makes them your strongest ally if you want to introduce a new tool at the office.
It’s easy to overlook the step of getting buy-in from your friendly IT pros—but it’s necessary if you want the right folks in your corner when you roll out a new tool. The thing is, it isn’t as tough as you might think to get them on your side. You need to first understand what matters most to the IT pros at your company, then demonstrate how your new favorite tool can tackle their biggest concerns. To get there, try creating a customized pitch.
Identify What Matters To Your IT Team
You love that your tool makes collaborating with team members at home or in the office a breeze. But IT is often more concerned with whether your team can stay secure while connecting across networks. Why? Because what matters to you isn’t necessarily what matters to your IT department.
If you want to get your IT department on board with your tool, then you first need to get a sense of their priorities. Identifying those pain points is key to customizing your pitch.
Below are just a few top concerns IT pros have when it comes to tools, technology, and security:
- Keeping up with security best practices. Constantly evolving tech (and threats) means IT departments must stay informed of security best practices and how they can implement them.
- Responding to data breaches within the company. Did you know the greatest threat to company security often comes from within? According to PwC, employees who unintentionally shared or mishandled data caused 30% of data breaches.
- Staying secure with tool integrations. Integrations connect tools and improve workflow, but more points of connection mean increased exposure to threats. IT departments want better control of integrations and the ability to restrict tools their team hasn’t vetted.
- Securing operations in an evolving work environment. Remote and hybrid work is on the rise, but a large percentage of executives believe the risk of a data breach is greater with a remote workforce. It’s up to IT departments to adapt to these evolving work environments.
- Easily managing team and employee access to tools. Some employees and teams have access to more tools and functionality than is really needed to do their jobs, so IT departments need to be able to control permissions settings.
- Setting visibility permissions that limit who sees sensitive information. Many companies struggle with data sharing and visibility both inside and outside of the company. IT departments need to know who can see important information, so they can make changes to that access as needed.
So, how do you know which of the above matters most to your IT department? Great question, and don’t be afraid to ask it. As an employee, you play a vital role in workplace security. It’s likely your IT department will appreciate your interest in what’s important to their team and, by extension, the company.
Connect Your Tool To Security Concerns
Maximize the impact of your pitch by pointing out the ways your tool addresses your IT department’s biggest concerns. Try writing out a problem-solution analysis—it’ll help you build a strong foundation for your pitch.
Take Trello Enterprise, for example. With Trello, tackling IT’s concerns is a piece of cake. Let’s take a look at information visibility:
- Problem: Your IT department needs to be able to control information visibility. They can’t have critical, upcoming product release memos or financial information visible to unauthorized teams within the company. Or worse—visible to the public.
- Solution: Using the Enterprise Admin Dashboard, your IT department can easily manage board visibility levels. They can remove the option of public-facing boards by defaulting new and existing boards to internal-only and can even restrict visibility within the company.
Or how about the increased risk that comes with integrations between tools:
- Problem: While leadership chose tools that easily integrate and work together, your IT department needs a way to limit integrations with other tools or third-party services that leadership didn’t approve.
- Solution: With Trello Enterprise, your IT department can easily customize which Power-Ups teams can use in their workspaces. IT can even specify which file-sharing options teams can use to attach important files to cards.
Do Your Due Diligence
You’ve mapped your tool to IT’s biggest concerns, but now you need to look at how your tool fits into the larger technology picture. That means knowing how it measures up to your company’s current tech and whether it meets IT’s security requirements.
Examine Your Company’s Current Tech Stack
Your company’s tech stack contains all the tools your company needs to operate effectively. If you want to suggest a new tool to add to the collection, then think like your IT department would and size up how the tool would fit in at your company.
For starters, take a look at your company’s current tech stack. Ask yourself if your tool targets an unmet need. Maybe your company uses a few communication tools, but none of them really help teams collaborate on projects. If you were pitching Trello, for example, you could highlight how Trello makes real-time collaboration a reality by giving teams a shared workspace. They can design the space to work for them and share important information, assign work, and move tasks through their workflow.
You can also look for any overlap or redundancies that your tool could eliminate. Say your company uses multiple tools to store documents. It’s likely employees waste a lot of time going from tool to tool in search of a document they might need. With Trello, they could use the search function to quickly locate a document or create an entire workspace dedicated to storing important resources, like release schedules and product guides.
Keep in mind that replacing tools isn’t uncommon. IT departments regularly examine their tech stack against new and emerging technology. But if you’re suggesting a tool to replace one or more existing tools, then remember to be specific as to how your tool is a better fit for your company’s unique needs.
Compile Security Documentation
IT departments vet new technology before implementing it at their company. While this typically occurs during the purchasing process, be proactive and gather the security information your IT department will need for your tool.
Next, visit the company website. They should have security reports for your tool available either on the product page or on a separate security page. For example, Trello always makes the most up-to-date security reports and information available for both customers and interested parties.
Companies often perform third-party security audits for their products. You can reach out to the company either through a general contact form or through sales and request the results of these audits.
Don’t worry about knowing how to present the contents of these reports or audits to your IT department—simply having these resources handy during your pitch gives your IT team the opportunity to determine whether your tool meets the necessary security requirements.
Tailor Your Pitch To IT Leaders
Any public speaking expert will tell you that one of the most important rules of a successful pitch is knowing your audience. You already know their concerns, but it might help to understand the role they play at your company.
Understand The Role Of An IT Leader At Your Company
The role of IT leaders in the workplace is actually evolving. While they still focus on security and technical support, leaders of IT departments now have seats at the executive level as the company’s Chief Information Officer (CIO).
Why is that important to you? If there’s a CIO at your company, chances are you’ll need to tailor your pitch to also include the business concerns of decision makers at your company.
For example, CIOs focus on digital strategy or how technology can help company initiatives and revenue growth. If you know your company’s year-long focus is customer retention and delivering projects on time, you can highlight the ways your tool improves collaboration and project management.
CIOs also use their knowledge of technology to identify emerging tech that can help their company adapt to changes. Make a case for your tool by highlighting the ways it supports remote and hybrid work, offers flexible work solutions, and works for multiple departments.
Now you try it. Remember those problem-solution analyses you did earlier? Give them another look and, this time, think about how you can expand upon the solution to include company initiatives or current business goals.
- Problem: Your company’s current tools are failing to scale as your company continues to grow. Your CIO wants tools that will scale and are easy to implement and manage.
- Solution: Trello Enterprise’s Admin Dashboard provides tools that allow IT to quickly manage workspaces, permissions, and users as they grow in number.
- Initiative: Work management is Trello’s bread and butter, benefiting teams across the company. Trello Enterprise’s workspaces adapt to every function of your business, streamlining the transition to a single tool that every employee, team, and department can use. Its intuitive design and templates can cut down implementation time and contribute to successful digital adoption across the company.
You’re Ready For What Comes Next
Getting the nod of approval from IT opens doors. While it might not be the final sign-off, it’s absolutely the kind of buy-in you need as you take your tool before the decision makers at your organization.
As you build your pitch, keep this in mind: Both you and your IT department want what’s best for the company—secure and effective tools that help employees get work done. By including your IT department in a conversation about your favorite tool, you’re inviting the exact kind of collaboration and growth that will enable your company to succeed.
Good or bad, we’d love to hear your thoughts. Find us on Twitter (@trello)!