It is the Business!


Why your IT morale is low, and 3 ways to fix it.


A few days ago I noticed yet another article on Linked-In about the challenges facing CIO’s in improving the relationship with “The Business”.

I am confused, does finance have this problem? Or the office of the CEO? How about marketing, or sales, or manufacturing? Logistics perhaps? Is I.T. the only department with this issue?

Oh, hang on – those departments are “The Business” but I.T. is not. Huh???  Actually this explains a number of very expensive mistakes many major corporations are making every day.

  1. By assuming I.T. is like building architecture, and not a vital business function, many organisations lose alignment between IT and their goals. I.T. are as much a core business function as finance, management, manufacturing and marketing.  FIX: Good knowledge systems give your business an edge, those who include I.T. capabilities into the strategic value proposition of their businesses simply outclass those who don’t. Make I.T. part of every departments strategic planning.
  2. Many I.T. staff believe their role to be technical, to be a great programmer, or network technician. FIX: They should be driven by whatever the business function is. If it’s a bank, they are bankers. If it’s a used car dealer chain, they sell cars. Passion for the business should be what motivates them. They just use I.T. skills to help drive the business forward.
  3. Outsourcing key roles and responsibilities makes it even worse as IT staff become more marginalized, and realize their options for promotion are even more limited. Worse yet, when you outsource, you reduce that alignment we spoke about earlier. Your “outsource partner” is a consulting company and is concerned with improving their business, using your experience. FIX: Only outsource the low end functions. Repeatable, unchanging and lacking in any authority. Sure, hire consultants to guide on depth of technology solutions, but own them internally.  In fact, before you outsource any functions to an overseas service provider, check locally for boutique companies that can offer the same value at a similar price. You will be surprised at how many specialist small companies can meet and even beat Indian, Philippines, Chinese and Indonesian service provider pricing with the added advantages of being both local and able to work on-site and being driven to deliver in shorter time frames.

So there you have it – an easy and zero cost way to improve I.T. morale, reduce risk, increase revenue and agility, and destroy the I.T. Business divide. Just think of I.T. as part of the business. And if you are in I.T. BE part of the business.