IT was once regarded as a separate department within a business – and a support department at that. However, today technology has become so fundamental to the way that organisations operate that integration is essential. Despite this, there remains a significant gap between many businesses and the IT that could help them to increase revenue, improve market share and grow customer base. So, how do you bridge it?
Open the channels of communication
In a recent survey, around a third of business people said that their relationship with IT was siloed, frustrating or distrustful. As long as this suspicion and caution remains it will be difficult for any business to really integrate IT in a way that can have such a positive impact on the broader enterprise. The first step to bridging this is to close the communication gap. Opening dialog is essential, getting the two different sides talking. Next is finding a common language so that business speak or IT jargon don’t stand in the way of shared information that could benefit the business as a whole.
Find common objectives
Defining a set of common objectives means that both business and IT are on the same page and working towards the same goals. For example, it may be useful to define key business objectives in the context of how IT needs to provide support for this. The most effective goal is often revenue – increasing this is something that everyone in the organisation can get behind.
Avoid generic approaches
The IT needs of every business will be different so an individually tailored approach is required. While best practice and industry standards can provide useful guidelines, the most effective IT will be that which is designed for the specific needs of the business. This requires that both business and IT teams take the time to develop a fundamental understanding of the enterprise, from the human side through to the business objectives and the IT involved.
Connect up the dots
The fastest way to get everyone on the same page is to connect the dots between the impact of IT and the bottom line. Many people still see IT support as an ancillary service or one only activated if there is an issue. However, the reality is that IT has transformative potential for every business – it’s much easier to realise that potential if there is clear evidence to illustrate it. For example, the way that revenue and costs are impacted and how key business performance indicators are affected by IT.
Trust between business and IT may have broken down for any number of reasons, including investments in the wrong technology or miscommunication in the past. Clarity is the best way to get past this obstacle – business should be clear in its demands and IT certain of its response. If the response is positive in terms of whether something can be delivered then this should be unambiguous. If it’s negative then reasons should be provided as to why and an alternative proposed.
Business and IT have not always been the most comfortable pairing. However, the most forward thinking organisations are learning how to close the gap between the two.
Get in touch with CFM Systems today for more information about what systems could benefit your business’ financial requirements today