How can CIOs transition IT from just being an internal service provider to a business partner?

IT has two key functions. If you look at a company as all these gears and moving parts that are all trying to work together, one of the key focuses of IT is to be the lubricant in that whole mechanism to make the machinery work more efficiently. So everything that you're doing internally, as an IT organization, is to support the efficiency and collaboration within the company. With the COVID situation, this is actually more true now than ever because without the support from the tech organizations (IT or the CTO), the whole machinery would fall apart because we wouldn’t have all the ways to connect and continue to work together. The other part is not to just be an internal service provider, but also be a business partner with the leadership of the company. To look at how they can bring technology to help the business grow. And I think the second part is often aspirational and overlooked, but it is exactly what actually gets IT out of being a cost center into being a more balanced approach in terms of managing the cost while running the whole set up and becoming a part of the investment plan for the company. But this depends on a lot of things which, I would say, are even out of the CIOs control. It depends on the company culture, the organization set up, how the rest of the company is looking at the IT organization, and whether they are even receptive to looking at this as a partnership versus a service provider. So there's a lot of these factors that I think come into play. That being said, I think that there are opportunities to look at the core value chain of the company and to determine where there might be some opportunities that get you from service provider to an enabling growth engine. It might be a recommendation to look for some small quick wins with certain business partners. You can't do it with every unit out there, so maybe look for the quick wins, the smaller opportunities. Do some pilots and some test cases and then get the business side to support your ambitions from an IT perspective. It's probably never possible to satisfy every single department and every single business unit that's out there, especially in bigger companies. You have to pick the business units that are more likely to work with you and make that progress, and then build from there.  What I've done in SAP that's worked generally well for me is, I've partnered very closely with the sales organization, and we've done quite a few projects. You help them to move a little and they really appreciate that. So over time, over a few projects they give you that seat at the table. It's all about proving value to them. It's doing more than the basics that gives you that seat at the table. If you're at the table already, then it's a matter of building a network with the peers.

15 views
2 comments
2 upvotes
Related Tags
Anonymous Author
IT has two key functions. If you look at a company as all these gears and moving parts that are all trying to work together, one of the key focuses of IT is to be the lubricant in that whole mechanism to make the machinery work more efficiently. So everything that you're doing internally, as an IT organization, is to support the efficiency and collaboration within the company. With the COVID situation, this is actually more true now than ever because without the support from the tech organizations (IT or the CTO), the whole machinery would fall apart because we wouldn’t have all the ways to connect and continue to work together. The other part is not to just be an internal service provider, but also be a business partner with the leadership of the company. To look at how they can bring technology to help the business grow. And I think the second part is often aspirational and overlooked, but it is exactly what actually gets IT out of being a cost center into being a more balanced approach in terms of managing the cost while running the whole set up and becoming a part of the investment plan for the company. But this depends on a lot of things which, I would say, are even out of the CIOs control. It depends on the company culture, the organization set up, how the rest of the company is looking at the IT organization, and whether they are even receptive to looking at this as a partnership versus a service provider. So there's a lot of these factors that I think come into play. That being said, I think that there are opportunities to look at the core value chain of the company and to determine where there might be some opportunities that get you from service provider to an enabling growth engine. It might be a recommendation to look for some small quick wins with certain business partners. You can't do it with every unit out there, so maybe look for the quick wins, the smaller opportunities. Do some pilots and some test cases and then get the business side to support your ambitions from an IT perspective. It's probably never possible to satisfy every single department and every single business unit that's out there, especially in bigger companies. You have to pick the business units that are more likely to work with you and make that progress, and then build from there.  What I've done in SAP that's worked generally well for me is, I've partnered very closely with the sales organization, and we've done quite a few projects. You help them to move a little and they really appreciate that. So over time, over a few projects they give you that seat at the table. It's all about proving value to them. It's doing more than the basics that gives you that seat at the table. If you're at the table already, then it's a matter of building a network with the peers.
0 upvotes
Anonymous Author
Hard work, building business relationships, providing operational excellence and having a vision and subsequent ability to execute on that vision by adding value proactively.
0 upvotes