IT Strategy: Everybody wins: humanising your IT vision

IT Strategy

IT Strategy

With intra-business IT starting to mirror the personal IT revolution, the demands placed on Chief Information Officers (CIOs) look set to change, from enabling business activities and deploying devices to driving the business in adding more to the bottom line with their IT strategy.

Integrating more closely with other business departments, the role of the CIO of the future could well turn out to be that of an educator: providing not just IT strategy for the tools to carry out tasks faster and with higher quality, but creating deepening awareness of the possibilities of using technology to be more effective, and relentlessly championing best practice methods.

The Chief Financial Officer (CFO), however, often views IT from a different angle: to an old-school CFO, the IT department may simply be a cost centre. CFOs tend to focus (sometimes exclusively) on the Return on Investment (ROI) when it comes to technology, so it is essential for the CIO to be able to express clearly the long-term monetary benefit to the company involved in their ‘Tablets for Everyone’ project. Being able to put a monetary value on technological improvements is essential. However, communicating improvements in e.g. employee satisfaction that may not show up as immediate cash gains, but in longer-term benefits such as reduced employee turnover, is just as important for a successful IT strategy.

Co-operation between business functions is essential—constructive partnerships must be formed and maintained to ensure effectiveness and eliminate parochial behaviour. Indeed, a recent survey by reported that 28 per cent of CFOs prioritise the improvement of their tech knowledge, while a whopping 84 per cent have increased co-operation with their CIO in the last three years.

Many CFOs are cognisant of the fact that data collection and evaluation is going to play a central role in building crucial marketing and sales advantages in the years ahead, making major investments in IT capacity essential for business survival. ‘Big Data’ is what will create a head-start on the competition, but those huge volumes of information also need to be translated into a language that can be understood and implemented—they need to be humanised.

Expressing your IT strategy in everymans language—that’s the CIO of the future…