Project Portfolio Management

IT Must Pay its Trust Debt to Achieve Business Alignment

When it comes to IT transformation, the common objective shared between businesses is a desire to tighten alignment between business and IT. Kevin Lees, principal architect for the global Operations Transformation Practice at VMWare, discusses in a YouTube video that IT must overcome a “trust debt” if it is to truly align with the business.

What’s a Trust Debt?

According to one report, if IT wants to become a true business partner, all it needs to do is supply the business with enabling solutions that drive innovation and deliver value. Lees notes however that this statement does not explain at all how IT can do that. Thus, Lees gives his own explanation.

Trust debt is what has accumulated between IT and business customers as a result of the shadowy and secluded manner in which IT has operated in the past. In order to make reparations, IT can pay via technical means, as in implementing faster solutions, or via cultural means, as in becoming more service-oriented and transparent. With the technical option, IT can enable technology by moving select services to the cloud and using software-defined data centers. For the cultural option, IT can stop taking an inside-out approach to development, where they decide what it is they think the business needs. Instead, IT can approach stakeholders with what they believe will help the business. IT can further offer high-quality services consistently via a policy-based approach.

Lastly, IT should be able to communicate the true cost of providing a service. If IT cannot provide details of cost, then the business cannot get an accurate picture of how a net benefit is produced. Lees concludes by saying it is expected that, in the next two years, 70 percent of CIOs will shift from managing IT to becoming innovation partners. He believes paying off the trust debt is the best way to facilitate this shift.

You can watch the full video here:

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