Why IT Needs to Step Up as a Business Partner

 
 
By Dennis McCafferty  |  Posted 08-09-2016 Email
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    Why IT Needs to Step Up as a Business Partner
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    Why IT Needs to Step Up as a Business Partner

    IT and business leaders must more effectively align their digital transformation strategies to keep ahead of competitors and drive new revenue opportunities.
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    Expectations Unmet
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    Expectations Unmet

    76% of survey respondents believe that IT should actively collaborate with the business to shape overall strategies which proactively leverage tech—but just 27% said this is actually happening.
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    Roles Defined
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    Roles Defined

    49% said business treats and manages IT as more of a supplier of tech services, while 22% said the tech department acts as a "consultant" to provide input on plans for business as related to IT.
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    Digital Initiatives
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    Digital Initiatives

    69% of execs at companies in which IT is a business partner said the tech department collaborates with business on digital initiatives—and both groups are accountable—in contrast to 34% of execs at organizations in which IT is not a business partner who said this.
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    Help Wanted, Part I
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    Help Wanted, Part I

    49% of survey respondents said the most pressing IT talent needs are analytics and data science, while 32% cite the need for joint business/tech expertise.
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    Help Wanted, Part II
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    Help Wanted, Part II

    31% said the most pressing IT talent needs are related to cloud and distributed computing, while 30% cite mobile/online development.
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    Structural Integrity
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    Structural Integrity

    33% said weaknesses in IT's operating model—how it's structured, run and managed—represents the tech department's most significant shortcoming, while 30% cite a lack of clarity about IT's priorities and/or organizational role.
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    Pipeline Flow
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    Pipeline Flow

    72% of non-IT execs said the improvement of the effectiveness of IT business processes should be a priority, but just 57% of tech execs agree.
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    Budget Battle
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    Budget Battle

    44% of tech execs said the reduction of IT costs is a priority, but only 16% of non-tech execs agree.
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    Intelligence Feed
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    Intelligence Feed

    45% of non-IT execs said the tech department needs to provide managers with better information to support planning and decision-making, but just 34% of IT execs agree.
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    Shared Vision
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    Shared Vision

    47% of non-IT execs said the tech department should focus on improving the cost efficiencies of business processes, and 44% of IT execs agree.
 

While most C-level executives believe that IT should serve as a collaborative partner to the business, only a minority said this is actually happening, according to a recent survey from McKinsey & Company. The article, titled "Partnering to Shape the Future—IT's New Imperative," reveals that the IT department is perceived as a consultant to the business instead of assisting with a digital transformation strategy. IT is considered as a simple supplier of tech services. It doesn't help that tech and non-tech leaders disagree about what should serve as top IT priorities. Significantly more non-IT execs than IT execs, for example, feel that the tech department should focus more on improving IT-related business processes. Non-tech execs also are more likely to believe that IT needs to support managers with better information for planning and decision-making. Clearly, both sides must more effectively align goals to pave the way for a productive partnership. "Implementing a partnership model … requires a shift in mind-set from the leadership team down to the front line," according to the article. "True partners can proactively help the business to think about enabling technology and delivering IT services that truly fit the needs of both the business and customers. To reap the full benefits of partnership, stakeholders across the board must adopt a partner mind-set toward the services (and value) that IT provides rather than thinking of their IT colleagues as consultants or suppliers." More than 700 tech and C-level execs took part in the research.

 
 
 
 
 
Dennis McCafferty is a freelance writer for Baseline Magazine.

 
 
 
 
 
 

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