Friday, 3 October 2014

The Role of IT is Indeed Changing: IT needs to be the key advisor as technology becomes the business

Indian IT leaders expect to invest 65% of their IT budget in delivering new services, the highest in the world. As software-driven business transformation becomes the norm, and businesses use new applications to engage their employees and customers, this trend is expected to continue, and accelerate, in the years to come. With the focus on innovation, 71% of India Inc’s top management considers IT to be fundamental to the organization’s success or very strategically important, compared to 51% in the United States.

What IT should be doing Now?

Managing the changing role of IT isn’t about control; it’s more about embracing what could become of today’s technology experts and how they can evolve into strategic business partners.

Drive better engagement with business stakeholders: IT needs to define strategic initiatives in the  context of business goals and communicate performance against strategic metrics so the business can understand IT’s value. IT should move beyond internally-focused metrics to external business metrics such as revenue and customer satisfaction, and routinely measure and report on key performance metrics in the language the business will understand.

Gain business support for the IT organization: Now that more CIOs are reporting directly to their CEOs they have the opportunity to become an equal, strategic partner who delivers clear value to the business and in return garners the budget and support needed to implement the strategy.

Build trust with the business by increasing transparency into investments and priorities: Help the business understand how you can optimize resource utilization and spend across internal and cloud service providers, make sourcing decisions based on a true understanding of cost and value and minimize budget variance and schedule uncertainty.

Identify the key roles that drive innovation and invest accordingly: IT organizations will always have to maintain existing technology investments and support end-user needs, but that shouldn’t be the primary role going forward. Search for the IT rock stars in the organization, give them time and resources to deliver new products and services, and truly innovate. As you shift more of your energy and focus to new services, over time your budget balance will shift from maintenance to innovation.

Educate the business on disruptive trends: IT organizations should understand how new technologies can drive business success. Stay on top of the latest technologies and invest in the required skills, talent and training. Don’t wait to be asked by the business about cloud computing, Big Data or mobility, for instance; look for ways to collaborate with the business in developing a proactive plan to leverage them.

Evolve IT from support to strategist: Today IT is the “problem fixer”; IT is the go-to for customer complaints; and IT maintains systems. But tomorrow IT needs to be the strategy expert. IT needs to be the key advisor as technology becomes the business.

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