Business Technology vs. Information Technology

Perhaps this conveys the fact that “business is technology and technology is business.” Clearly this is much more than a semantic relationship. The challenge for organizations in the future will not be the based on the availability of technology, but rather on the management and utilization of the technology to drive business advantage.

As the lines between business and technology continue to converge, you have to think about the preparedness of the next generation business technology leaders and whether they are equipped to effectively manage the complexities of business technology. Traditional academic institutions have been slow in moving to fuse curriculums resulting in a short supply of well-rounded graduates from computer science programs. In some instances, privately held academic institutions such as the University of Phoenix, and the Thunderbird School of Global Management have been able to adjust their curriculums more easily to address this growing demand.

Many CIO’s when asked about their labor force, raise significant concerns about the shortage of skilled IT professionals such as software engineers, however, I believe the shortage has much more of an impact from a management perspective. Given the increase in technology spend which can be as high as 40 to 50 percent in some industry sectors, about one-third of CIO’s (and this number is increasing), continue to report to the CFO. This reporting relationship will further demand a certain level of financial savvy, which is typically not a strong attribute of today’s technology managers.

As we look towards the next five to ten years, more organizations will begin to feel the impact of business and technology convergence. We’ve already begun to see some CEOs viewing the business technology function as a legitimate partner in driving revenue, profit, and market share, but there is still a ways to go.

The next question may be, “How long it took for businesses to realize the full value of technology?”

I can’t wait for that answer.

Michael Fillios has been at the intersection of business and technology for 20 years. As an expert in business technology management, he has led executives around the world in advancing their maturity in managing business and technology together. He is the managing director of BTM Global 2000, a provider of solutions that help organizations improve the business value of technology.