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Aligning Business and IT – Is the gap closing, maintaining, growing?

Just read an interesting article in InfoWeek by Art Wittmann titled, “Business Users Satisfied with IT? Think Again”. It’s an interesting read and reminds me of my own experiences driving strategic projects and attempting to close the gap between the business and IT. That was an interesting journey, and I still have the scars to prove it. One thing for sure, I grew to appreciate the challenges that IT has in satisfying the business. It seems the IT organization is in a constant state of either catch-up or clean-up. The business seems to always want more, and when they get more, right or wrong, IT is left to clean up the mess when the seemingly inevitable integration, data, security, support, scalability, etc… issues surface. Still, somehow these super-technologists get it done….yet, the business opinion about IT still remains…well, let’s just say it’s not usually positive.

This concept of a gap between the “Business” and “IT” has been around for years. I came across a Forrester Research study we commissioned last year. It was a solid study produced by Scott Santucci, Principal Analyst, and John R. Rymer, Vice President. It had a few great business and IT examples around transformation that I want to pull out and share.  So, I’m going to pull out a few segments that may be interesting, but I’m going to leave it to others to comment on if these are still relevant.  I have a suspicion that this gap has not really closed and is still a very relevant challenge for businesses today.

So, let’s get started with the business feedback.

biz feedback.jpg

Business Feedback – Is this still true today?

The world is changing rapidly and requires rapid change and innovation. IT often is either resistant or simply cannot respond at this pace. And many times IT simply does not understand the business. Therefore, the business does not have the confidence that IT can play the leadership or consultative role the business needs.

  • Understand us
  • Figure it out with us
  • Speak in our language

IT Feedback – Has IT transformed enough?

Technology support model simply cannot keep up with the change and increasing quantity and complexity of business requirements. Also, the staffing and managing the skills required regardless in-house or outsourced is difficult.

Sounds Familiar – Is IT stuck in the middle?

Last, the convergence of all the above makes it very difficult to manage and IT needs help from vendors to manage. It’s interesting that Scott and John discuss how IT is echoing similar sentiments they hear from the Business to the technology vendors.

  • Understand us
  • Figure it out with us
  • Focus on our success

Has your company closed this gap?

Care to share examples of how you accomplished this?  I’m especially interested in how this dynamic plays out as constant innovation and rapid change are becoming the norm for many industries and lines of business.

I’ve included the full summary of findings if you’d like more details.  Again this is a study from last year, but really interesting to see that this issue continues to be a focus area as business increase their focus on transformation.

Learn more about SAP Business Transformation Services can help your businesses bridge the gap between business and IT on it’s transformation journey.

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