You already know that to get the rapid insights you need, you need to empower your analysts with the Alteryx Platform. You’ve seen how analysts can use the platform to produce faster, more relevant answers to your business questions. Now you need to take it to the next level by getting the Alteryx Platform for everyone on your team or the whole enterprise.
To do that, you’ll probably need IT approval. And to convince IT, you need to be prepared to answer their questions and even overcome some objections. Here’s how to respond to some of the most common questions that IT groups ask, plus some tips for how to engage with these folks so you can get your analysts what they need.
A Proactive Approach Pays Off
Since you’ll have to work with IT, engage them early, to build your mutual relationship and speed the approval process. If you make the effort to understand their concerns and offer them information, they may be pleasantly surprised, since it’s a relatively rare occurrence.
Accentuate the Positive
Remember the big picture: An automated analytics platform gives IT the power to be a true partner, a business collaborator, rather than just a bottleneck. And of course, from their own perspective, they’re not a bottleneck at all — they simply have competitors for their attention. Take a look at three points that will put you and IT on the same page.
Three Ways IT Wins with Alteryx
1. Make IT feel like the superheroes they are
Let them know they’re helping the business move faster by bringing in Alteryx. That’s because your analysts can answer your business questions faster without having to wait for IT to extract and format data for analysis. And those answers are more relevant because they’re based on the very latest information. That’s vital. The business needs answers faster than ever before, and IT has to keep up with the pace.
Most organizations recognize that data is the new oil — so by enabling faster and better insights into that data, IT is helping the business strike it rich.
2. Alleviate their day-to-day pain points
Even if you don’t think your IT department will care about the big picture, they’ll certainly care about their own departmental problems. There’s good news here too. Alteryx benefits IT as well as the business as a whole. IT can get out of the tiresome job of fielding ad-hoc requests for data — requests that can disrupt project timescales and drain resources.
In addition to reshaping its relationship with the business, IT wins because it can now redirect those resources to strategic projects. Valuable IT skills are freed up for meaningful, higher-value work instead of repetitive data extraction and formatting.
Here’s how one Director of IT describes the feeling of freedom that he gets from Alteryx (pro tip: You might want to share this video with your IT team as you engage with them).
3. Help win the talent war and keep employees engaged
Amid a critical drought of technology skills, bringing in Alteryx can also help IT win the war for talent — and help the whole organization increase employee engagement and productivity.
Solutions like Alteryx help companies attract millennials and keep them engaged because IT and analysts get the benefits of working with a modern self-service platform instead of facing the drudgery of repetitive data extraction.
It’s vital not just for IT and your analysts, but for the entire organization. According to a Gallup survey, less than a quarter of employees are engaged with their work. Increasing the percentage of employees who are enthusiastic, involved, and committed pays off in a big way, boosting employee retention and productivity and driving higher profitability and customer engagement.
How to Respond to Three Common IT Concerns
It may seem counterintuitive to the way you assess new technology, but most IT groups have questions that have nothing to do with the benefits or functions of the product. Instead, their concerns focus on areas like governance, security, and the impact on IT resources.
It’s important to discover your IT team’s biggest concerns. Not all IT groups are the same — some guard resources the way squirrels hoard nuts, while others are more relaxed.
1. Dispel myths about control
Since IT’s role typically includes managing data and technology, they’re naturally concerned about any product that might let people use data and resources in new ways. One common worry is data sprawl, which is the concern that people will be able to create non IT-approved data sets that consume more storage.
They’re also likely to ask about the types of data your analysts will access — whether it’s sensitive information, data blended with external inputs, and who will need access. They may also have concerns about whether Alteryx workflows will increase the load on corporate database software.
How to dispel those concerns? A key point is that Alteryx only lets people use data that they’re already approved to access. And with Alteryx Server, IT can monitor everything that’s happening on the platform, seeing exactly which workflows are running, who’s using them, and which data they are accessing.
2. Calm security fears
In today’s cybersecurity-conscious world, you should expect questions about product security. IT groups often ask how passwords are protected, for example. The answer is that Alteryx passwords are encrypted at all times — when stored and when being transferred over the network.
But there may also be more detailed questions: How secure is the software itself? What are the company’s security practices? How does Alteryx address vulnerabilities and updates? Don't worry, we know you're not an IT or security expert. If IT asks tough questions, we can help.
3. Have a frank discussion about admin
IT often has questions about how much work it will take to manage Alteryx Server. Our experience is that whether IT is running Alteryx on premises or in the cloud, the effort for maintenance and management is relatively low compared to other IT workloads. In the vast majority of cases, the organization won’t need a full-time administrator. And if it’s desirable, IT can assign administration duties to more than one person — so IT can enlist the help of the business in managing the platform.
Companies that use Microsoft products may find it useful to know that IT can cut administrative effort by using Microsoft’s Active Directory to configure Alteryx access permissions and connections.
And remember that any additional administration required for Alteryx is usually outweighed by the reduction in other IT work. In addition to freeing IT from ad-hoc data requests, using Alteryx usually means using less of something else — so any additional admin work is offset by a reduction in work to support other products. And because Alteryx has such a broad range of features, in some cases organizations have been able to shift processes from several other products to Alteryx, reducing overall cost and effort.
As you engage with IT, remember the big picture. IT will empower the business to move faster because analysts can answer questions without waiting for IT. That helps IT build a truly collaborative relationship with the business while retaining control and freeing IT resources for higher-value work.
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