Mistakes happen when you’re learning to ride out the ever-changing business cycle. In fact, most startup companies and divisions make the same ones. In the new product or acquisition phase, many departments get scant resources and little attention; unless they are doing something that actively hinders the growth product, they’re mostly ignored. This makes the people in those areas feel sidelined and left out.

Resources and people may have been taken away from their departments in order to support the new venture, and the message they’re hearing is that they don’t matter to the company anymore. They’re not getting their share of technology support either because all IT development has been put on hold unless it supports the new growth product.

You’d think a company as IT-savvy as Facebook would know better – but not so. In Facebook’s case, when they had outages or production changes, they got in trouble because they didn’t communicate with their user groups about what was going on. They were trying to move too fast, without giving any thought to processes and people. As a result, Facebook ended up with all kinds of problems, including legal trouble.

Why do these things happen to businesses? Because these days, IT is essential to every department—and yet if it’s not properly integrated with people and processes, the very thing that’s intended to increase your production and efficiency can be what’s getting in your way. Every single aspect of the back office depends on IT—accounting, invoicing, banking, bookkeeping, going public, stocks, human relations—which means that IT is the back office’s backbone. But a backbone can’t do its job if the rest of the skeleton isn’t properly connected to it; and if people and processes aren’t integrated with IT, you’re setting yourself up for trouble later on in the cycle.

Learn how to avoid this trouble. Get your copy of Dave’s new book Surviving the Business Storm Cycle: How to Weather Your Business’s Ups and Downs to discover where in the cycle your organization currently resides.