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Succeeding at IT/LOB Collaboration

Succeeding at IT/LOB Collaboration

By Sameer Padhye

The digital transformation of core business processes is helping organizations of all sizes become more agile, customer-centric, and efficient. It also underpins the importance of IT’s investment in digital technologies, which is exploding. However, these investments must support the organization’s business strategy, emphasizing the need for IT and LOB managers to be on the same page when it comes to digital priorities.

These investments underscore the commitment IT leaders have made to designing innovative new business models and customer experiences. In the State of the CIO 2018 study conducted by IDG World1, 88% of IT leaders confirmed that their emphasis has become more digital and innovation-focused, and 37% said their IT departments can play a critical role in this area.

Unleash IT’s Potential Value to the Business

LOB managers may not know that their IT department is already moving past “business as usual”. The CIO study reveals that IT departments are investing in various technology areas, including enterprise applications (35%), data and business analytics (33%), cloud computing (28%), and security/risk management (28%).

Given the impact of digital business processes on corporate success, it’s vitally important for IT and LOB managers to collaborate on IT project planning and budgets. This collaboration is easier to facilitate in areas where IT and business priorities align, and where there is shared oversight. In the CIO survey, most respondents already recognize this and reported on specific business initiatives driving IT investments at their firms. These initiatives include increasing operational efficiencies; improving customer experiences; increasing cybersecurity protection; and transforming existing business processes.

Start with the Foundation – Collaboration

LOB can help set IT priorities and get budget dollars to fund specific technologies. In turn, IT can help LOB managers by spearheading prioritized projects, recommending appropriate technology solutions, and adopting agile development/delivery practices. Of course, these priorities must be backed up by adequate resources, including budgets and the latest tools to improve IT productivity and accuracy. IT managers can also help their LOB peers build a business case for investing in new technology initiatives.

A recent survey conducted by McKinsey and Company2 shows many executives expect IT to become a more valuable contributor to business results. And 80% of those surveyed backed up the findings in the CIO study, reiterating the need for business and technology leaders to actively collaborate on digital strategy. Yet just over half of them are doing so now. What’s the hold up? In some cases, there’s a disconnect between IT and LOB leaders. Better communication and joint ownership can help them resolve differences on what and where IT should focus to meet ongoing business needs.

The Importance of Partnering with IT

LOB managers should actively partner with IT so that business priorities are met with appropriate IT budgets and resources. Recommendations include:

  • Giving CIO’s a “seat at the C-level table” to better understand the needs of their organization, such as revenue growth, risk reduction and improved agility.
  • Agreeing on business priorities and hiring enough talent, which will help IT improve their effectiveness within the organization.
  • Empowering IT leaders to shift their time and resources to areas the business values most, such as e-commerce, analytics and cybersecurity.

Improve IT Effectiveness, Increase Its Value to the Business

A frequent criticism of IT Departments is their inability to meet business demands and resolve technical issues, but it’s understandable why. The scale at which IT needs to monitor data and identify problems cannot be effectively managed by humans. With today’s complex, dynamic and distributed technology stack, diagnosing and resolving system and performance issues can become a sinkhole, draining manpower away from more productive and impactful initiatives.

The answer is Artificial Intelligence for IT Operations (AIOps), a one-stop solution which can streamline a variety of IT operations processes and tasks. Leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning applications, AIOps can help businesses with proactive system planning and identify business-impacting issues before they occur. By helping them better manage the “nuts and bolts” of IT operations, and avoid system outages, AIOps can dramatically free up IT departments to work on more high-value digital transformation projects.

Ready to learn how AIOps solution can help modernize your IT department? Download the FixStream white paper here.

Sameer Padhye is founder and CEO of FixStream.


1CIO’s Shift Digital Transformation into High Gear, State of the CIO 2018, @IDGWORLD
2IT’s Future Value Proposition, McKinsey and Company, July 2017

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