Have you ever seen or heard upper management disagreeing on key issues within the company? Especially where business technology is concerned? Chances are, you have!
In many companies, there are often debates across departments on budget allocations, high-level decision making, and other issues that can impact the whole organization. All of these disagreements can have significant impact on the bottom line.
Why is this happening?
Technology has been evolving very quickly, and this has brought on changes in the way IT is used and managed. It’s been so fast that many people haven’t been able to keep up with the changes. That doesn’t change the fact that business IT is an important aspect of just about any business. It’s often a source of competitive advantage.
That’s why we identified 4 ways business IT can help build your success. Among other things, one way IT can help build success is by helping other managers understand budgets and flag issues before they become big problems. This is because technology is much more efficient than humans at identifying events and matching them to outcomes and conditions.
These benefits aren’t clear to everyone, though. That might have to do with the fact that, for a long time, a company’s CIO was the only executive who managed all of a company’s IT. In quite a few companies, this is no longer the case. More to the point, for modern businesses to really compete, the CIO has to involve more leaders in order to properly handle all of the IT assets owned by the organization.
How will CIOs achieve this?
Communication and relationship building, of course! As we mentioned in another article, CIOs seek stronger ties with other units for three main reasons:
- To better understand business priorities and the strategies in use (21%);
- To identify projects and initiatives prioritize (19%); and
- To build collaborative relationships with the rest of the C-suite (17%).
They want to do this to recover costs, better fund their budgets, and to optimize IT consumption behavior throughout the company. Sadly, there are a few snags.
The worst one is that a majority (54%) of non-IT C-level executives see IT as an obstacle to success. This view can (and will) have a large impact on timely decision-making and on the overall road the company is going to take. Of course, this was just one study, but it sampled over 550 CIOs, so the finding can’t be taken lightly.
The Technology Business Management Council finds that there are four major reasons why the C-suite takes such a dim view to IT:
- They can’t clearly see the value to IT;
- They perceive IT costs as uncontrolled (because the IT department have a hard time defending what they spend);
- They only see bad planning (because of long forecast cycles, it’s hard to get an accurate read on how planning directly ties to outcomes); and
- They feel there’s a lack of agility (in-house IT upgrades lag behind those that the cloud offers).
This needs to change. Here are some tips on what you can highlight to your CEO (and other executives) to help change their minds about the value of IT:
IT brings you better communications.
One of the biggest advantages of business IT is the speed and scope of communication. Of course, many people, now being buried in emails, might not see it that way. And so, it falls to you to demonstrate the impact of other tech-enabled communication, such as videoconferencing and remote work technologies. The odds are good that many people don’t know just how powerful these tools can be.
IT gives you better efficiency.
Introducing workflows, cloud computing and other IT assets will allow a business and its employees to improve work processes. Again, showing is better than telling. It’d be a good idea to research a good product and vendor who could then provide a live demo of how IT can make work more efficient.
Showing people how they (and their employees) can get more work done in a shorter amount of time is among the fastest ways to get them to improve their view of IT.
IT is a major source of competitive advantage.
In the end, the biggest proof will be in the numbers. Again, something that people might not know is just how much the large businesses of the world have either saved or earned just by being ahead of the curve. Here’s a hint: It’s in the millions.
We wrote about this a little while ago, but here’s two numbers you should keep in mind now: Cisco saves over $270 million in annual operating expenses by adopting web-based customer management, and Emerson saved over a half billion dollars over four years using business automation to do procurement.
Speaking of automation…
Did you know that Etelesolv is Canada’s leader in IT and telecom expense management? We achieved this through our CimplControl solution which centralizes, automates, and allows companies to take control of their IT assets! Think of it: when everything’s all in one place, it’s much easier to gather data, information, and reports, and do appropriate changes! We also cater to other needs such as real-time mobile tracking usage with CimplMobile. CimplMobile allows you to keep track of your wireless mobile fleets and further make changes in order to reduce costs.