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HR is from Jupiter, IT is from Saturn

Sometimes distinctions are made based on appearance only. For instance, Jupiter has its alternating colored bands and churning red spot, Saturn its placid surface and dazzling spectrum of rings, but they are essentially both made of hydrogen gas and aren’t much different in size. Beneath the surface, Ryan Ogilvie says that HR and IT Service management are as much alike as Jupiter and Saturn.

The Composition of HR and IT Service

These organizational giants are both comprised of effective and technically inclined staff. Both fields need to avoid technical jargon that inhibits their ability to communicate effectively. Both departments face cost constraints imposed by the business; in other words, they “orbit” the same institutional star. Data is important for both departments to make the right decisions for improving their services. If HR and IT service want to be successful, they need to gravitate (align properly) with the needs of the central business unit. And of course, HR and IT have customer expectations in common:

In IT there may be service level agreements which provide guidelines on how service should be provided. In reality we need to understand what our services are and what they mean to the business so that we can meet expectations around service delivery and how to best manage those expectations. It may be through email and phones, tools or social media. Whatever the mode may be it should be reviewed regularly to ensure we are still on top of it.

Handling security is another area that HR and IT have in common, in that they both need to manage sensitive knowledge. And even when dealing with less sensitive knowledge, HR and IT face the challenge of having to manage it all–collecting, sharing, and retiring information according to what the business requires.

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Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master's degree in communications at Penn State University.

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