The new year IT gift your business really wants

Whether you’re reading this before around Christmas or early in the new year, it’s not to late to give the business exactly what it wants in 2018. And you can deliver it simply by sending an email as Eric Wright of Richmond Systems explains.

Is this the gift that will unite business and IT?

Is this the gift that will unite business and IT?

IT is constantly trying to bridge the gap between itself and the business. Even though both IT professionals and their business colleagues are on the same team, they rarely behave accordingly. Why? A legacy of cultural differences, the ‘language barrier’ of technical and non-technical people communicating, added to a good measure and stubbornness from both sides are the main factors.

In recent years, the failure of formal efforts to break down these barriers has proven that the IT/business silo is incredibly stubborn. This is because the silo will not be broken from strategists trying to break the wall with brute force. It will instead be breached by dedicated individuals wise enough to realise it has to be broken down brick by brick.

Success stories
The organisations we work with that have improved parity and collaboration between IT and business are - without exception - grateful to a handful of individuals who have been brave enough to put their head above the parapet to forge better relationships. It’s often just two people - one from IT, one senior business professional. It’s similarly often sparked by one conversation - perhaps about why IT struggles to deliver an often requested service, or an unusual requirement from the business that IT finds itself able to quickly address.

These relationships often start small, but one brick at a time, they create mutual understanding and begin changing the close-minded and separatist culture that has so far stubbornly blighted the development of business technology.

The gift your business wants
So what’s the gift I refer to in this headline? Send an email to your department heads. Wish them a happy Christmas/New Year. And tell them that as part of your endeavour to improve service, you like them to tell you the one thing you and your IT team could deliver in 2018 to help them work more effectively.

You may get some flippant answers (a case of a beer, some biscuits). You may get ignored. But you may get one reply from a department head who suggests a change that you’d never have thought about. You might not even be able to deliver it. 

Regardless of the immediate outcome, you will have started a dialogue which will eventually unearth something that requires a simple change to deliver.  And if you handle this contact with respect and listen to the challenges faced by that individual in context of IT, you may begin to change your priorities and talk to the people within the business differently.  Even better, you might start to achieve the impossible and break down that IT/business wall forever.