The first Think IT Leadership Group meeting of the new year was one to remember.  We had a packed house, standing room only, while we discussed Bridging the Disconnect Between ‘the Business’ and IT. I want to take a minute to thank Julie Devine for hosting the meeting, and Littelfuse as well as Ulta for hosting.

We started off the meeting by discussing how to build your business on success to continue to see it grow. This can only happen if “the business” is understood and everyone is contributing.  Julie Devine stated, “The business is a mythical creature we aren’t understanding.”  Companies need to focus on customer service, within IT, and many companies haven’t adapted to what the customers need and want.  IT is very expensive, and employees and leaders have to show its value and fight for change, market their skill sets and make their company aware that IT is a part of EVERYTHING. Only 36% of business users think IT is aligned with the needs of the business, even though technology services run through every aspect of enterprise culture, from mobile devices to Wi-Fi to cloud computing.

The disconnect between IT and the business is obvious.  There’s misalignment within the organization, not understanding the overall strategy and lack of business acumen.  IT has lost their credibility over time, with an outcome of failure to market the value of IT.  IT is also missing key roles and skill sets needed in the digital world.  Speed delivery is slow and there’s a lack of partnership.  For this to change, companies need to learn to adapt as a whole. Tim Robbins stated, “We need to get the message straight, get through to the organization, we add value and need to collaborate.”

At the end of the day, we are all working together to reach the same goals, IT is part of “the business”.  We need to stay relevant, shift towards the partnership model, and transform our mindset.  We are business professionals, as well as technologists, and need to learn to engage and enable “the business”.  IT can do this through the strategic interface, building relationships with managers within the organization, consult and provide guidance, as well as communicate the knowledge we have. IT leaders must proactively share the knowledge of technology and opportunities to build a competitive advantage, create efficiency, and reliability of services.  We need to partner with the business leadership, and other key stakeholders, to define improvement opportunities, prioritize projects and build long-term roadmaps.  Elya Altman stated, “you need to have passion and if you don’t have that it won’t help your business.  It’s about understanding the results and nothing else matters.”

Thank you to those that attended the meeting. For those that inquired, you may find the slide deck that was presented, here.  If you are interested in learning more about Think IT, please check out our website. We hope to see you at the Think IT Quarterly event on Friday, January 25th at Expedia.