How to improve collaboration between IT and non-IT business leaders

How to improve collaboration between IT and non-IT business leaders

Earlier, we discussed disconnect between IT and non-IT business leaders, as discovered through recent reports by IDC and Deloitte. In this post, we’ve listed five ideas that, if acted upon, will contribute to improving the relationship between the two parties.

 

1. ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL
Every organization differs with their human, business and technology elements. It is integral for the IT department to take the time to understand these different dimensions and how they interact with your organization, your stakeholders and your business goals.

 

2. LEARN WHAT FINANCE AND MARKETING WANT, AND THEN FIND A MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING OF THE GOALS
Quite often, the Finance and Marketing goals different from that of the IT department. But their goals dictate the type of IT the organization needs. We cannot stress the importance of communicating in a common language, finding a common set of objectives and defining how to measure the level of success of the IT support through KPIs. This method will create a shared risk between the IT and business sides, ensuring both sides work closely. An understanding of testing all updates to remove unexpected events is also enforced.

 

3. IDENTIFY THE KEY METRICS AND DEPLOY DASHBOARDS
One of the greatest challenges our account managers have experienced is helping our customers, in many levels of management, understand the key metrics and displaying it well. We have to ensure they can explain the metrics in an easy-to-comprehend language to their staff. When the IT department configures any technology, the dashboard should detail all metrics that would be meaningful to the C-Suite. The dashboard should be easy to access and the data should be easy to extrapolate. This is a big responsibility for IT – proactively delivering and discussing statistics, such as service levels, application availability and response time, will help all parties see the impact of IT on the bottom line.

 

Key metrics can include: end-user performance, resources consumed, service cost, lost revenue, cost of downtime, number of successful/failed transactions, time spent on service calls

 

4. FOCUS ON WORKFLOW AND PRODUCTIVITY
Line-of-business managers’ priorities run with the business impact IT will make on their processes. Staff actively using applications and IT, especially specific their departments, are strongly affected by the downtime. Usually, this downtime affects sales. Workflow and productivity focuses on the monitoring and management of transactions that are processed through mission-critical applications, and finally, to the end user. This directly relates to the cost impact of downtime or a lost transaction due to IT failures.

 

5. FOCUS ON REVENUE AND SHARE THE RESPONSIBILITY OF SALES
Technology needs to contribute to increasing revenue streams. Despite the importance of technical service numbers, businesses should be focusing on three statistics: by how much IT services impact revenue streams, how they impact the ability to drive revenue up or down, and how to enable minimum-cost IT services to have the least impact on revenue.

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