Collaboration Ramps Up Between IT and LOB

As technology continues to play more of a role in all aspects of the business, Line of Business (LOB) increasingly is seeking out CIOs because they are leading the charge for digital innovation. CIOs are speeding ahead on transformational efforts all while continuing to manage operational responsibilities. With so many priorities, it’s essential that CIOs increase the level of communication between IT and the LOB side of the organization.

Last year’s 2017 State of the CIO study showed that CEOs tasked CIOs to foster partnerships with business executives across the organization. The 2018 State of the CIO study shows that collaboration between IT and LOB is on the rise, with 71% of CIOs saying Collaborative IT (when IT shares oversight to some degree with departments or LOB) has become more frequent over the past 12 months. From the LOB perspective, collaboration is also trending upwards, 80% of LOB leaders view CIOs as strategic advisors or consultants. This is a significant uptick from last year’s study (63%), proving that CIOs have delivered on the CEO’s charge to foster partnerships with LOB leaders.

Keeping IT & LOB Systems Secure

85% of CIOs report having involvement in LOB technology purchases, this suggests that alignment between IT and LOB is essential for securely solving problems. When IT is not involved in technology decisions on the business side it leaves room for potential security issues, perhaps this is why the CEO’s top priority for IT is to upgrade IT and data security to avoid cyber attack. The responsibility now falls to CIOs to not only understand the business but make sure they’re being strategic and asking how to execute business strategy more securely. CIOs are now being more consultative and asking their LOB counterparts what problems they’re facing and partnering with them to address those problems securely.

In It for the Long Run

Another factor that contributes to the success of the IT/LOB relationship is CIO tenure, with this year’s study showng that tenure is up by 3.5% YoY. CIOs are staying in their role, on average for 5.7 years, so they do not have to rekindle working relationships because of turnover. These CIOs likely see projects through from ideation to launch while continuing to build working, trustworthy relationships with LOB.

Looking Ahead

The CIO role continues to evolve from not just taking orders from the business side, like years ago, but being more strategic and consultative to both internal and external customers. Technology has proven to be the easy part for CIOs but the hard part will be continuing to influence business strategy and maintaining a transparent and collaborative relationship with LOB through digital transformation.

Check out the State of the CIO 2018 Executive Summary to learn more.


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