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    Eliminating "Us And Them": Making IT and the Business One
    by Steven Romero
Wednesday
Jan182012

The Business Must Be a Partner in IT Transformation

In my last blog post I described the need for the business to take a front-and-center role in the governance of information technology to assure the continual and successful “evolution” of IT. I noted how business neglect of IT governance has greatly contributed to IT’s inability to naturally and appropriately evolve in response to ever-changing business needs. Enterprises failing to govern information technology decisions foster the ‘Us and Them’ relationship that causes a divide between their IT organizations and their business counterparts. This divide must be periodically addressed each time the gulf becomes too great for IT to successfully serve the business. In lieu of business-driven IT evolution, IT must be repeatedly “transformed.”

IT organizations finds themselves engulfed in the latest calls for “IT transformation” – driven largely by cloud computing, mobile data, and the consumerization of IT. IT organizations and their CIOs are being warned to change or their days as a fixture in the enterprise will soon come to an end. These change efforts are underway everywhere I look and there are some really smart people with innovative approaches and solutions providing the means for CIOs and their IT organizations to “transform.” But as I stated in my last blog post, these transformations will not provide lasting results if the business isn’t driving them while simultaneously stepping up to their crucial role in governing IT. If any change to IT is to be meaningful and enduring, the business must look at their role in the relationship and ultimately transform as well, instead of insisting it is only IT that needs to change.

The problem is that we’re not hearing calls for the business to change. I don’t see long articles describing strategies, approaches, and solutions for transforming the business. How can this be? When a married couple is having relationship problems, does only one of them need to change? Imagine a husband or a wife going to see a marriage counselor – alone! I thought this troubled marriage analogy was so appropriate that I visited a couple of marriage counseling sites and one of them provided just what I was seeking.

IT cannot unilaterally fix their relationship with the business. The business and IT must fix it together. So instead of launching into a one-sided transformation of IT and the CIO, I suggest IT organizations and their business counterparts first follow this unedited “troubled marriage” advice:

  • Gain insight about yourself and the nature of your relationship
  • Work on yourselves first and strengthen your positive attitude and let go of ineffective responses
  • Recognize changes you can make yourself that will promote satisfaction in your life and relationship
  • Identify feelings and needs and learn to express them constructively without finger pointing or withdrawing
  • Learn how to better understand, respect, and appreciate your partner’s perspectives and feelings
  • Learn to take responsibility of your contribution to some problems
  • Recognize that you can improve what you do before your partner is able to stop their defensive and controlling behavior
  • Learn to think, feel, and act more constructively when difficulties arise
  • Accept that you are the only one who is responsible for what you feel, think, and do
  • Respect the other, accept the differences, and give each other space to develop their uniqueness 

IT and the business are partners in their enterprises. When that partnership is not working, neither faction can fix the relationship alone. IT and the business must fix their ‘relationship’ problems together, as opposed to simply transforming IT. Following the couples’ advice above will cause each organization to reflect on their role in the success, or failure, of the relationship. When they do, they will certainly find the need for transformation does not rest solely on IT.

~ Steve ~

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Reader Comments (12)

You're right - the 'businesses' themselves need to change.

March 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNVQ Courses

You have so much knowledge about this issue. And it was nice.

That's right. Business and knowledge in IT must be combined for a future success.

Like the business itself, IT has many contribution in the success of business.

Both factors will bring success.

IT is helpful in business through advertising.

this is so true in advertising.

Thanks for sharing this information!

What I love about this post is that It helps people understand the true essence of advertising in the corporate world.

This is very true in advertising industry. Keep sharing.

Thanks for this very informative article.

i totally agree for this article!!

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