We have come to a point in the world where IT is being called upon more than ever due to the surge in remote work and technology’s increasingly significant role in driving business direction. The pandemic disruption has increased internal-control risks, leaving every business to adapt and have an increased focus on the overall technology vulnerabilities.
To accomplish all they need to keep their organization secure, IT departments have been brought to the realization that they must prioritize building trust among their business partners – but that trust doesn’t happen in a flip of a switch, there’s a variety of steps both parties have to take in order to reach the light at the end of the tunnel.
- Manage Expectations
The business has an objective in mind for the use of technology. IT must be able to provide realistic timelines and milestone on when a technology project will be completed. Managing expectations and being on time within budget, with desired results, will build great trust and a solid partnership between IT and other business units.
- Business Knowledge is a Must for CIOs
There’s no doubt that CIOs must have business knowledge in order to see eye-to-eye with a business partner. IT has been asking for a “seat at the table” for a long time and now we have it! An IT leader such as a CIO or Director being a technologist usually isn’t the right fit for medium to large sized organizations. Today’s CIOs and Directors are more strategic and being well-versed in being able to take business requirements and developing a technological solution based on those requirements. Senior IT leaders also must be able to speak to both technical and non-technical individuals so they both understand where the person on the other end is coming from. At the end of the day, both parties need to speak each other’s language to some extent to expand the relationship.
Can one that has been a technologist become a CIO or Director, absolutely. given the right training, coaching, and development opportunities.
- Do Not Invest in Technology for Technologies Sake
In the past IT was believed to invest in technology just to have the technology, rather than investing in technology to solve a business problem or leverage an opportunity.Today, while technology trends may be appealing to some businesses who want to stay up to speed, it’s never worth getting carried away without the proper business case, especially since technology does not solve all business problems or meet a specific business requirement.
IT departments on the other hand, must stay abreast of what technologies businesses are using or investing in.Based on this knowledge, IT can provide guidance on technology trends that the business may be able to leverage.
- Never Overpromise and Underdeliver
Sometimes IT departments are encouraged to act quickly to resolve a problem or complete a project using an overly aggressive timeline. As IT professionals we must provide sound reasons why a problem takes more time to resolve or a project requires more time to complete. If this is not done, a break in trust may result that a simple apology will not easily repair. As mentioned previously, it’s best to communicate realistic timelines rather than potentially jeopardizing IT’s credibility.
- Be More Proactive and Consultative Rather Than Reactive
An IT department that is more proactive and consultative than reactive by providing a solution without thought, will likely build a stronger relationship with an internal business partner. It’s important to make a strong effort to listen to closely to what your colleague wants and has to say to better understand how to execute in the most efficient and successful manner. This proactiveness and consultative approach could bring an opportunity to propose alternative solutions, leverage existing technology or implement a new project.
When those in IT take a consultative approach, there’s a chance it brings someone in IT outside of their comfort zone, but why not get comfortable with being uncomfortable and be one step ahead? Challenge yourself to take initiative and watch yourself proceed on a positive path with your business partner.
Building a relationship between business and IT is filled with advancements and opportunities once communication and trust are in place. For most IT departments looking to build a healthy relationship with their business partners, these steps can take you in the right direction and drive business success in the long run.