The success of any new technology initiative depends on IT and business being on the same page. Otherwise you risk failed projects, lack of measurable ROI, and technology investments that don’t do much to improve the business.
We’ve put this blog post together to help you ensure that both sides of your business are working towards the same goals. Here are 5 tips to keep in mind for successful business and IT alignment:
BE AN ACTIVE LISTENER
Communication should always be a two-way street, and this is no exception. IT and business both have a specific focus. Which means both sides see each situation or challenge through a different lens. Where IT is looking at essential security upgrades and procedures designed to protect the business, the business side might only see an extra expense and processes that could slow down productivity with extra training. Both have a valuable perspective, but it won’t get them anywhere unless they learn how to communicate and compromise.
Remember to listen, ask questions, and communicate clearly not just WHAT you want or need but WHY as well.
Something that is a top priority for IT may not even make the list for business, and visa versa. It’s important to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Not only does this help you see the situation from their perspective, but it means they’re more likely to try to see it from your perspective as well. This can lead to greater trust, easier communication, and more solutions that make everyone happy.
STRIVE TOWARDS MUTUAL GOALS
While it’s true that IT and business might have a very different approach and focus, ultimately everyone is working towards the same goal: the success of the business. If you take the time to ensure that everyone involved, regardless of their role, is focused on this overarching objective, it will help remind everyone that they’re working on the same team.
SPEAK UP ABOUT RISKS
No one wants to be “that person”, the one who’s always preaching doom and gloom or saying “no”. But trust is a huge part of working well together, and you can’t trust someone who lets you make a costly mistake just to avoid being uncomfortable. Whether the risk is about cybersecurity or financial stability, speak up.
REINFORCE THE GOOD, WORK WITH THE BAD
Let’s face it, too often it can feel like IT and business are spending more time butting heads than getting anything done. To help repair this relationship, you’ll need to make a point of emphasizing the good. When you have a productive conversation, come up with a balanced solution to a problem, or create a joint plan for moving forward, remember to point out the success and the people who contributed to it. This helps to establish a new normal, a relationship that is good to be a part of. And when things go a little sideways, because that’s always going to happen sooner or later, instead of slinging blame trying finding the “why”. You’re not looking to roast someone, just to do better in the future.
A MANAGED SERVICES PARTNERSHIP CAN BRIDGE THE GAP
Maintaining alignment between business and IT can easily become a full-time job. This is part of the reason so many SMB’s are turning to Managed Service Providers to help bridge the gap and ensure that IT and business have a mutually supportive and beneficial relationship.
If you’re looking for experts to become a real partner in your business, a partner who can help you align the knowledge, processes, and technology you need to achieve better business outcomes, we’d be happy to talk. Contact us today to learn more.