SCENE 1, MID-AFTERNOON, FADE IN:
IT walks through the door after a checkpoint meeting and sits on the couch.
Doctor: What brings you to my office today?
IT: I think the business might be leaving me for a younger, slimmer, sexier, IT alternative.
Doctor: You didn’t see it coming? I’m not surprised, many don’t. They didn’t think anything was wrong with their relationship with the business either.
IT: But the business still doesn’t understand my “real” value. I keep trying to explain to the business what we do, but they still don’t get it.
They will see how valuable I am if I just power down the datacenter.
Doctor: I agree, but I am not sure that is productive.
Can I ask you a question?
What is the root of all relationship issues?
[A visible change is seen in IT’s face]
That’s absolutely correct.
END OF SCENE 1
THE IT PR CAMPAIGN – Communicating IT Business Value
Most senior IT managers are being faced with new challenges that are not technical in nature. Every day they are bombarded with buzz about aligning IT and the business, but very little success is being achieved on a large scale.
If you feel the same way, you are not alone. IT is losing the PR campaign!
Intrinsically, most of us know that communication is the key to most problems in a relationship. So, why do we think the relationship between IT and the business is any different? A wise woman once taught me to think 10 thoughts, but speak only 1. Many of us in technology think 10 thoughts and say all 10. Thus ensues the struggle between complete transparency and desired simplicity.
The SQL server didn’t work, the HTML was malformed, we had a DDOS attack, it was the Java JVM, etc. – most of this communication is out of context often sounding like gibberish to the business. While transparency is important, I question that this type of communication is beneficial (or even healthy – but that’s for a future blog post).
Too Much Information (T.M.I.) OR The Wrong Information (T.W.I.)
In today’s day and age, all the complexity in IT is usually known for, is Too Much Information. As an organization or an individual, we should pick one thought or theme (usually not technical) to communicate back to the business in a way that is:
Our systems, interfaces, and software all need to align in helping the businesses do their job.
Fortunately, there are many ways to fix your relationship with the business. Here are some ideas:
- Increase the Business and the IT department alignment by making sure they are working toward the same goals.
- Innovate on ways to communicate IT business value back to the Business. IT organizations should find ways to communicate the value they provide to the business using the same language the business does.
- Improve IT soft skills.
- Support the Business through changing times by sharing common values and supporting its goals.
Over the course of this series of blog posts, I plan on exploring new ideas of how to transform IT into a business aligned organization through both technical and non-technical means. We will focus on high-value communication back to the business.
In my next post, I will illustrate ways in which IT can communicate significant value back to the business in the form of actionable information. I will explain how we took an average Remedy ITSM Service Desk (this can be ServiceNow as well) and provided a new way to visualize, understand, analyze, and control future and current changes throughout the enterprise using HP Software. This unique solution called Visible Impact saved both IT and the business significant amounts of time and money.
What are the major communication challenges that you face in your company? Please comment below. Be sure to let us know if you are on the business side or the IT side.
To learn more about the Visible Impact solution and save your organization time and money Click Here or Register for a FREE two-hour workshop.