Archive for June, 2014

20th

Too often it seems that almost the singular focus of IT has been to cut costs within the company.  There is no doubt about technology’s capability to bring organizational efficiency and reduce costs; however, when cost-cutting is the primary focal point, it can mean little attention being given to the ability of technology to help increase revenue, improve customer retention, enhance competitive differentiation, etc. ??????????????????????????????????????

What caused IT departments to become so narrowly focused on cost-cutting?  Obviously years of economic uncertainties and difficulties had a huge effect.  But perhaps factors internal to the company played an even larger role.

Instead of seeing themselves as business professionals with an expertise in technology, many IT professionals instead view themselves as technologists.  As a result, they have not concentrated on truly learning the business of the company actually cutting their paycheck.  After all, the reasoning seems to be, why should I see myself as a banker or a manufacturer when my technical capabilities will easily allow me to move to another industry the next time I need a job.  Failure to gain a knowledge of the business makes it easy to see why these IT professionals do not speak the language of business… they don’t know it.  We all know the difficulties this causes in communication, but we must also admit that this lack of business knowledge prevents IT professionals from contributing as much to the success of the company.  It also makes it extremely difficult for IT to communicate the value they are bringing and likely prevents them from even being aware of what they might be doing to enhance competitive advantage or increase revenue.  Without exhibiting a firm grasp of the business, IT is often pushed into an order-taker role.  And it doesn’t help that the natural introvert tendencies of many IT professionals (including the CIO) are sometimes allowed to become barriers to developing solid relationships with corporate leaders within other areas.

I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy. I’m telling you it will be worth it.

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