How to make your IT organization work
How has the structure of your IT organization changed over the past few years? What do you see it looking like in the next three years?
The dynamic and changing landscape of a business technology organization is a topic that comes up frequently when I speak with IT execs. Our research at CIO.com shows that from 2013 to 2015 there was a 10% increase in the number of organizations that are set up in a distributed or federated manner instead of having a centralized structure.
As technology continues to move to the center of business, increasingly relied on to drive innovation and competitive advantage, we’re seeing IT resources and budget moving into the business as well. Some view this as a threat to IT, but the CIOs and IT leaders I speak with say they welcome the shift. It not only signals an increase in the importance of technology to the business, but also provides IT leaders and their teams with an opportunity, and a responsibility, to get closer to internal business partners and external customers.
One of the defining questions around how CIOs and IT are viewed by their business colleagues centers on the decision-making and purchasing processes. Is IT involved from the initial requirements gathering through to purchase and implementation? Or are business units forging ahead without IT?
Key to ensuring a successful move to this distributed and federated model for IT is the rise in the business relationship manager position, which I see taking hold within many large enterprises. Finding the right person for this role will be challenging, but it’s critical to a smooth relationship between any business unit and IT. Companies are plucking business relationship managers straight out of MBA programs, from the ranks of their software development teams and from everywhere in between. One trait these individuals have in common: superior communication skills.I’m a firm believer that technology is driving the business, but along with that comes the responsibility to not put the business at risk. At a time when security is of increasing importance for everyone, including your CEO, IT-business alignment shouldn’t be in question. No business unit outside of IT understands the importance of security, mapping to a technology architecture, ensuring integration and properly vetting vendors.
As a CIO, it’s your responsibility not only to bridge gaps that exist and make sure that your organization is moving forward and taking advantage of all that technology has to offer, but also to make sure that it’s doing that in the safest and most efficient manner possible.
How is your IT organization rising to this challenge?