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Partnering to Shape the Future: IT’s New Imperative

It is no longer the norm for IT to work in its isolated bubble; rather, they are a major player at the executives’ table. And if that is not the case, then there is a problem. In an article for McKinsey & Company, Naufal Khan, Jason Reynolds, and Christoph Schrey share data from a survey about where IT stands as a business partner.

Challenges to IT Evolution

Despite the immense benefits that can be reaped from IT being a business partner, most organizations (71 percent) cite that IT does not play this role. Survey data revealed that at organizations that have IT as a business partner, they are three times more likely to say that the IT function is very or completely effective at both implementing bottom-up innovation and nurturing a healthy IT culture.

The survey additionally revealed that there is a misalignment between IT executives and business executives on IT’s priorities, and unfortunately there is not much improvement over time. Chiefly, 44 percent of IT executives cite cutting costs as an important priority, versus only 16 percent of business executives considering it a priority. Executives on both sides are at least in general agreement about the importance of “improving effectiveness of IT business processes.”

A substantial 91 percent of respondents stated that their organizations are already pursuing a digital agenda. This indicates that it will become even more important over time that there is a partnership between IT and business executives.

With all of the benefits of an IT and business partnership evident, what is holding back the duo from taking the world by storm? Technology executives believe that the central causes are weaknesses in IT’s operating model, followed closely by a lack of clarity about IT’s business role. Interestingly, the talent search is not perceived as one of the most difficult challenges for IT to overcome, and yet its threat to success is almost universally agreed upon. Individuals in IT need to find talent in analytics, and in joint business and general IT expertise.

Looking into the future, executives must align on IT’s role and change the already established mindsets. The role of IT needs to be evolved in order to better suit the needs from the business, but this will take some convincing. This partnership is a newer idea, but it is one that can be facilitated.

You can read the original article here: http://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/business-technology/our-insights/partnering-to-shape-the-future-its-new-imperative

About Danielle Koehler

Danielle is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. She has degrees in English and human resource management from Shippensburg University.

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