This past year I have been involved in helping a number of SME sized companies start the journey to bridge the gap that exists between business and technology (represented by both internal as well as external service providers). A number of very important insights have come to the forefront as to why this gap exists and in the next few posts I will discussing these.
From my experience, the first and most important issue that needs to be addressed is a major misalignment between the expectations of the business leader(s) and that of the IT leader(s) regarding the role of IT in the business.
I have found that in some SME’s, business leaders expect IT to be transformational and add strategic value to the business, while the IT leader believes that his role in the business is that of providing a stable platform for the business functions to operate. In other SME’s, business expects IT to provide a reliable and stable platform while the IT leader believes that his role is transformational and strategic. In other scenarios either business and IT leaders, or both, do not understand the role of IT in their business. SME’s where both business and IT have the same perception of what the role of IT is in the business are few and far between.
What is clearly evident, there are a lot of false assumptions on the table when business and IT do start talking, which results in many (most?) IT decisions not meeting business expectations.
I want to challenge you to test this in your own business. Ask your business leaders what their expectations are of technology….and then ask your IT leader the same question. Hopefully they agree, but from my experience odds are that they will not.