Engaging IT to business.Posted: October 25, 2013
One of the most discussed area now-a-days is how to engage (align) IT with business. The root point here is that IT would like to become a partner to business, rather than staying a service provider. Getting there is not easy, but I’d like to share a few ideas how to start the road with you:
The ball in on IT’s side. It is important to realise that it is IT that “would like to” be recognized as partner to business, so it is IT that needs to do the first (and several next) step. Business will not change its opinion about IT out of the blue or because IT wishes so, this paradigm shift needs to come from IT.
Proactivity is the key. Opportunities to show business that IT can a partner and actually get things done will rarely present without IT taking proactive approach. When there is an request for IT to aid / support a business initiative, IT should not tell business how it cannot be done … rather find (even less traditional) ways how to solve businesses’ issue.
Take the extra mile. There are always requests from business that can be fulfilled well enough … or excellent. IT should strive to take the extra mile as often as possible … not only fulfilling requests from business but rather exceed their expectations. When asked to provide an analysis, add some extra statistical charts or add date for a larger period of time than requested. When there is a planned system downtime, makes sure that after it will be back online to check with key users if the system is running correctly.
Listen to business. This is the key to any IT initiative to engage with business. Only rarely business managers will come to IT and tell them what they need. Its IT, impersonalised in the position of IT manager / CIO that has to engage business peers in conversation trying to figure out what is that bothers them. Taking the issue as a starting point, IT should be able to mitigate the issue and prepare a plan how to solve it.
Share with business. There are many decision made by IT that are effecting the entire company – main technology framework, BYOD, outsourcing … .Inviting business managers to join the decision making for such points can bring valuable opinions based on ‘real business’ experience as well as a certain feeling of engagement by those business managers towards tool / technologies they’ve helped to decide about.