How to Get – and Keep – IT and the Business on the Same Page
IT = Business. It seems a simple enough equation, one which speaks to the ideal state of equilibrium that should exist between IT’s goals and those of the business, yet in practice it’s more complicated. Of course, whenever an organization’s technology side is on par with its business team, success is almost certain to follow.
Rather than that ideal state, what we too often see is a business side far out in front of its counterparts in IT. At the core of this situation is a force some call the Digital Shift. This force has reshaped the way organizations operate and the expectations of employees and customers alike. It’s up to IT to balance Digital Shift-inspired demands such as greater access and improved ease-of-use with the need to maintain control and security. Should IT be unable to do so, misalignment can occur.
What can IT do to keep in step with the wants and needs of the business? The answer is to look at some of its own habits and modify them so that tech teams will be better suited for a business world shaped by the constant influence of the Digital Shift.
Tough-to-break habits that are holding IT back
In order to better align itself with the business side, IT must stop:
- Viewing itself as a cost center. This dated way of thinking about IT has inspired an obsession with doing more with less. More often than not, these decisions limit IT’s bandwidth and put too much red tape between users and the innovations they crave. IT should no longer consider itself a cost center but rather a business enabler. As such, IT must take steps to familiarize itself with business objectives and procedures and determine how it can help.
- Overlooking how end users work. Data breaches and advanced malware campaigns are an everyday reality. In this environment, who can blame IT for wanting to design a corporate network hardened for anything? That approach overlooks one very important group: end users. While security is vital, so too is usability. If defense mechanisms slow end users too much, they will look for ways around them. Those seemingly harmless timesavers could be a shortcut to something much worse.
- Using a “What” to “Why” mindset. IT’s approach to solution-finding is to start with the what and work back to the why. It makes sense considering the strong affinity techs have for the latest and greatest equipment and the lure of cutting-edge features. However, for those on the business side, it’s the exact opposite of how they prefer to think. They want conversations to start with the why and then figure out the appropriate solution from there. Ensuring alignment necessitates techs adopt this more mainstream way of thinking about issues.
Next steps: Bring IT and the business into alignment
Need a hand implementing the above changes? Want to ensure that within your organization, IT really does equal Business? Arraya’s Data Center Modernization Assessment can help. This service can provide IT with insight into its role in relation to business objectives as well as document any clear gaps between what IT wants and what the rest of the organization expects. In addition, it can analyze the existing technology environment and assist teams with the development of a three-year road map so they may accurately plan for future success.
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