Most enterprises are re-evaluating their strategies and taking initiatives to foster growth and collaboration in 2021. Without building and strengthening the trust between business and IT, their chances of achieving success with these initiatives are slim.
Over the years, the role of the CIO has evolved. Digital transformation accelerated by the pandemic has carved a significant role for CIOs in the boardrooms as decision makers. Even though the influence of CIOs has increased in the board, many enterprises still exclude them from strategic meetings. For years, CIOs have been fighting to convince their organizations to explore new business models to help capitalize on the opportunities created by technology innovations. But, these recommendations are not always a priority for many CEOs and the boards.
Quite often, when the CIOs make recommendations, business leaders seek second opinion from their peers, consultants etc. Digital business transformation requires CIOs, IT teams and the business to collaborate. Instead of just aligning with the business, CIOs can go a step further and proactively and constantly engage with their business peers.
To truly build and strengthen the trust between a business and IT teams, CIOs need to be transparent about what their team can deliver and what they can’t. By acknowledging their strengths and weaknesses, CIOs can strengthen the foundation of trust between teams and their peers in the organization. This will not only bridge the gap between IT and business, but will also build trust and partnerships that deliver desired business outcomes.
As per a recent report from Gartner, 50 percent of organizations will have achieved increased collaboration between Business and IT teams by 2022.
Below are a few ways that CIOs use to strengthen the relationship between business and IT teams:
Being honest about the current situation
Since most enterprises operate on a service-based model, they want to satisfy their customers as well as the needs of the enterprise, CIOs end up over-promising about a certain project. This result in end-products and services that don’t deliver all the features as promised, driving a wedge between IT and business. Hence, IT leaders should try to be honest about their team’s strengths and weaknesses. When they stumble upon a problem, they should be open about not having all the answers and should actively reach out to their peers or industry experts for help. Transparency and honesty can go a long way in promoting and strengthening the relationship between IT and business partners.
Make a product or service that business leaders can understand
Since IT professionals have worked and grown in the technology trade, they always try to pass on initiatives that can help them achieve their objectives. But executives on the other hand, care about the outcomes and it may not necessarily align with the IT department’s objectives.
Therefore, to build trust, IT professionals must build products and services that align with the business leaders. They need to make the business leaders understand what goals they can achieve from using the latest technology.
Involving the entire IT teams
Building trust between CIOs and their C-suite counterparts is critical but won’t be enough unless the whole IT team frequently interacts with the business leaders. CIOs need to take initiatives that will help the IT team understand the immediate needs and future goals of the business. There should be strategies in place that enable the IT team to directly interact with the business leaders. It will help the IT professionals to have a clear understanding of their needs and priorities and will give them the opportunity to explore better alternative solutions.