The nature of IT’s work is transitioning to a necessary higher level of decision-making capabilities. IT just has too much potential to be allowed to squander it with “business as usual.” In an article for CFO.com, Tracy Currie elaborates on six steps to maximize IT’s ability to drive decisions within the business, so that IT makes the jump from support function to full-fledged business unit:
- Define IT in the business.
- Consider what vehicles IT will use.
- Differentiate IT from outside competition.
- Analyze the economics.
- Create a roadmap.
The Path to Power
It is vital that IT understand that they are an important player in the overall business strategy. When IT is fully engaged at the business level, they shift their focus towards more of a revenue way of thinking. This should ultimately become the norm. In order for IT to get back into the game, they need to be a strategic partner. Outdated thinking that fixates around cost management must be discarded and replaced by an emphasis on finding and developing new top-line opportunities. Additionally, IT should be weary of too casually implementing the latest technology solutions, like “Business Intelligence Self Service,” because the ways in which they are adopted need a lot of refinement.
IT departments have the tendency to be slow and difficult in the eyes of the company. This needs to change because companies are more than willing to find services outside of the organization to complete IT’s functions. IT must learn to market their value and understand how to better differentiate from outside options. When the company is going outside of the organization and paying for a third party to do IT’s functions, they are essentially paying for two IT departments. Is this really necessary?
IT needs to have a defined path to follow in their plan to illustrate their value. A roadmap helps to outline the best way to maximize time-to-market advantage, as well as highlight the steps that IT will need to take. Currie elaborates with this:
No business unit operates without KPIs, and IT should be no different. IT’s indicators should look at such business metrics as revenue and margin contribution, time-to-market acceleration, and customer satisfaction, in addition to department-specific, on-time project delivery and ticket resolution.
After the strategy is well-defined, it is finally time to execute and show the organization what IT can do!
You can read the original article here: http://ww2.cfo.com/it-value/2016/04/it-as-a-business-should-drive-decision-making-not-just-participate/