Matching business and IT priorities is child's play

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In our company we are often working with business people to create software solutions before their internal IT department has been called on (sometimes because of the fear of doing so) but inevitably if the idea is strategic someone from IT will need to at least pass an eye over what is happening to see how many rules we are breaking.

The big challenge is that often the business manager struggles in relating what they/we are trying to do with the "strategic IT plan" (the thing it must do in order to get the idea through the gate) and the whole discussion can go completely off the rails really quickly.


So, I was reading a brief on a newly released Gartner EXP Report. In the report they had this interesting table (below) and it got me thinking of a common assignment that my elementary school children do where they have 2 columns of words and they try and match them such as the word 'City' in one column and 'Boston' in another.

The idea is to match up the two words because they belong together. Now looking at this table I thought "Hey this would be great, let me create an easy way for a business person and an IT person to tie their priorities together, so that they could easily see how and when they are in fact actually pretty close to talking about the same thing".


Here is an easy example:

The COO really wants to improve business processes this coming year.

The CIO says "That's great we have been looking at upgrading the ERP system and there is plenty of scope for improving business processes in that area"

The CIO says "I've got scope this year to advance our business intelligence capabilities".

The COO says "That's great we know that business intelligence will really improve our ability to attract and retain new customers".

To a certain extent this is really simple and maybe that's just the point. As children we learn to connect ideas and words together via a simple relation but as we get older we get more rigid in our definition, always looking to get the exact meaning established so much so that we fail to see when we are actually talking about the same things and trying to achieve the same goals.

Give it a shot see if you can get your priorities matched!

From Gartner EXP Worldwide Survey



Top 10 Business Priorities

Rank

Top 10 Technology Priorities

Rank

Business process improvement

1

Business intelligence

1

Reducing enterprise costs

2

Enterprise applications (ERP, CRM and others)

2

Improving enterprise workforce effectiveness

3

Servers and storage technologies (virtualization)

3

Attracting and retaining new customers

4

Legacy application modernization

4

Increasing the use of information/analytics

5

Collaboration technologies

5

Creating new products or services (innovation)

6

Networking, voice and data communications

6

Targeting customers and markets more effectively

7

Technical infrastructure

7

Managing change initiatives

8

Security technologies

8

Expanding current customer relationships

9

Service-oriented applications and architecture

9

Expanding into new markets and geographies

10

Document management

10


Ed Loessi

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