Yesterday, we hosted a Think IT Special Event on the topic, The Business of Information Technology. A huge thank you to our panelists, Phil McKoy, Digital Transformation Leader at Optum, CEO at Rally Health, Chris Chapman, EVP, Chief Operating Officer/Chief Information Officer National Banking at TCF Bank, Rob Geyer, Chief Operations Officer at Medica, and Katie Eichhorn, SVP, Head of Data Product Mgmt. & Enablement at U.S. Bank for sharing their knowledge and expertise on how important business is even in technology. Thank you to everyone who joined us as well!

What are the biggest challenges for IT within businesses today?

The core operation of businesses today is how you think to run your technology operation. Technology is a competitive advantage, and last year has shown that due to COVID, we were able to see how important technology is. Technology is forward-facing, and working with customers who are using the technology will change over time. Technology exposes everything that businesses do. IT is the business, and you can’t support IT unless you are close to it.

What do you personally do at your level to keep a pulse on the technology innovations that could become a future strategy?

The panelists agreed that being on different panels, going to different leadership events, and learning from others is important to understand the core of what technology does. Technology is functionally relevant for the business. It’s important to surround yourself with people smarter than you and watch people use technology to learn how you can bring technology services to them.

When speaking about the business of information technology, the panelists talked about selling.

The 3 C’s of Selling:

Curiosity

Confidence

Conviction

It is important to use your expertise and talk to others about the knowledge you have. When you talk about your expertise, it does not feel as if you are doing much selling.

What are the most successful companies doing related to IT within their business that other companies are not?

The role of IT is articulated in the business. The level of investment in technology is maintained, and the finance is protected. Businesses need to have the right investment to have the right innovation and the right culture to have a good business that goes hand in hand with IT. Having good leadership who has already worked in a company where the business and IT are connected is important.

A few key take concepts that the panelists wanted to leave everyone with were:

  • Keep the business on the top of your mind. Remain close to what is happening with the business even when your focus is more on IT.
  • Continue to network
  • Match your aspects with your aspirations