Is Information Technology a support area? The traditional, “keep the lights on” world of technology just won’t cut it anymore.
Of course everyone expects their laptop to boot up and connect to the network. No one even thinks about it until it won’t.
The business partners of the technology team expect more. They want technology to be strategic. They expect technology to know their goals, strategies and capabilities. The want to know how technology can help them generate more revenue.
And so a revolution is under way. Technology isn’t the guys who “make the trains run on time” department. Or at least, they shouldn’t be.
To create appropriate urgency around the change, the CIO and senior management should first dispatch business drivers who can clearly explain to employees how new tools can help the company seize important opportunities and who can excite their peers about the future.
Once clarity and urgency have taken hold, leadership should ask for volunteers from across the organization to join a team that will drive the implementation forward. This will ensure that the technology being put into place is in line with employees’ diverse needs, that potential roadblocks are detected well in advance and that tailored solutions are crafted in collaboration with the very individuals who will be using the new systems in the future.
In today’s world, the technology department cannot just be seen as a support area. It must be seen as a critical part of the business. It’s up to the CIO to drive that point home by positioning himself or herself as a strategic partner—with a distinct set of skills and tools at his or her disposal. Take the time to talk to employees that use technology regularly to really understand how they use it. Listen to business line leaders about what their people want and need to succeed—and explain how new systems can enable them to meet those goals.