Is IT’s Core Competency Making Others Look Good?


If you had to list what IT does for the business, it’s almost certain that “making business look good” would be on that list –or at least it should be. After all, it’s IT that makes the programs and systems which either the business directly sells or uses to create a healthy revenue stream. This post by Chris Murphy warns, however, that being a business supporter doesn’t mean IT gets to hide from the light of day. Just like Richard Thomas, CIOs have to become the enablers of business while still keeping their own value apparent. Thomas did this in his own organization:

Quintiles provides services to pharmaceutical and biotech companies to help them run clinical trials. Thomas has spent the past seven years as CIO of Quintiles pushing the IT team to be a revenue generator as part of that effort. In doing so, however, Thomas isn’t trying to build a fiefdom of software products that he and his IT team runs. And that’s where making others look good comes in: When IT sees a way to make money selling IT products or IT services, it looks for the right business units to partner with, and lets them champion it and carry it forward.

Through his teams work, Thomas was able to land $400 million in new business — and that is, he explains, the whole point of IT. It isn’t just to make sure that the IT organization can stay relevant — but that it can directly contribute to the success and health of the entire business. By having great ideas that immediately translate to revenue for the business, IT is becoming the tool business will look to for the next big thing.

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