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It takes two to tango

Have you ever felt that the business and IT departments within an organisation are not really on the same page? Then this blog post is for you - whether you're on the business side or the IT side.

From the perspective of the business:

"We have found the System with a capital S! It solves exactly what we wanted it to handle and then some, at an attractive price and a super friendly salesman! We can scale up and down as needed and payment is in the form of a convenient perpetual subscription. Now we just need to talk to IT so we can get support for the stuff, then it's all done!"

From the perspective of IT:

"Now the business has bought from the wrong supplier again! We don't have a contract with them, we don't have systems that are compatible with the new solution and we don't know what to do. The day after the system was installed we were told that the business has signed a three year contract and now the business expects us to support the nonsense! What are we going to do! This doesn't make sense!"

This is a bit of a stretch, but it may sound something like this in an organisation, and the tones are likely to be familiar to both IT and business people. Now imagine this raised to a higher level: let's add digitisation. It's fast, it combines different technologies, and it's vital for the whole business to keep up - otherwise the business loses competitiveness and ends up in the shade along with Facit, Kodak and all the others who are mocked for not capturing the opportunities. At worst, it's not just an embarrassing place to be, it could put the whole future of the company at risk. The increased stress of both the challenges and opportunities can easily tempt hasty decisions. If the relationship between business and IT was a little frosty before, digitisation doesn't make things any easier right away.

Cooperation is a key success factor

We see the collaboration of IT and the business as a critical success factor for an organisation's digitisation journey to be positive. They cannot do without each other. But it takes two to tango and both sides must bid if this is to succeed.

How can this be achieved? First of all, an effective dialogue must be established. Time must be taken to understand the other party. IT needs to make the effort to really get to grips with the business and its challenges and understand how the market in which it operates works. The business needs to help IT understand the realities of customers, competitors, sales and production and how the organisation's business model works and should be adapted to new conditions and customer requirements.

The business doesn't exist for IT to do anything, IT exists to support the business in running more efficiently. IT is the catalyst to speed up and make it easier for the business to do business. To do that in the best way requires a very good understanding of the business and its challenges. Any business that views IT as a cost only will face significant challenges. IT is not a cost, IT is an investment and a competitive tool that can be the difference between success or failure for a business.

If you demand more for less, there is a risk that improvement and innovation will be undermined and your business will lose competitiveness. Innovation and improvement are exactly what is needed for IT to make the leap and become a valuable partner to your business. This dilemma keeps many IT managers awake at night and one possible solution is to streamline IT operations either with in-house resources or with external help, thus freeing up resources for more innovative and business-oriented processes. The trick, which not everyone succeeds in doing, is to do this without compromising security, performance or service.

As mentioned above, the first step is to establish a functioning dialogue between IT and business. We at AddPro are happy to help and facilitate this dialogue. In addition to helping you shape your strategic map, we can also assist IT in several areas so that IT can put more focus on its development journey. In other words, we can support both IT and the business in developing the strategy forward so that both the business and IT get the most out of your efforts and investments. AddPro will be part of your development journey as a competent and long-term partner to help you achieve your common goals!