A recent column in Information Week “Don’t Let Tech-Savvy Business Execs Do An End Run Around IT — CIO Effectiveness — InformationWeek was filled with the usual sentiments that I have heard all too often.
The title portrayed the attitudes that break down communication between IT and business groups. IT says they are in control of all things related to technology and how dare business groups act without them. Business groups feel they either do not need IT or cannot afford to wait for them. Who is right? Neither!
Like a parent, IT needs to let go or realize that control is no longer possible or maybe not even desirable. IT needs to resist becoming “helicopter” parents. IT has to embrace business groups as their customers as opposed to their children. Customers come back if you provide great service and rarely return if made to feel foolish.
Business, on the other hand, has to understand that IT sometimes has to take a little more time on projects in order to better serve them in the long run and support the enterprise as a whole. Business groups have to resist the vendor PowerPoint slides that promise nirvana if only they buy the latest and greatest emerging technology. Toys are fun but not always the answer to your problems.
Today, especially in this economy, businesses need more information to make informed decisions. That information has to be consistent, comprehensive, correct and current to be of value. There have been many articles of late discussing how IT is becoming irrelevant because either technology has become a commodity or business groups can get that technology without IT. I’ll skip that debate for now and say that regardless of the technology used the key to the business is not the tools but the data.
IT can provide short and long-term value to their businesses by concentrating on transforming data into relevant information. Sure, there will be some tools involved but success of these efforts relies on data governance and data integration. And these efforts involve business and IT groups working and talking with each other.