Moving IT Up the Value Chain

Assign IT Liaisons to Functional Groups – Instead of waiting for new projects or requirements to filter down to IT, these CIOs assign each functional group (e.g., HR, sales, marketing, finance) an IT liaison.

This liaison proactively works with the department to develop and refine IT requirements. More importantly, the liaison learns how their “customer” does business. They come to understand the daily pressure of their peers and how they are measured. They gain first hand knowledge of how IT impacts the function on a day to day basis.

Link Internal & External Providers & Customers – Today’s IT environment is a mashup of insourcing, outsourcing and co-sourcing. There is an ecosystem of internal constituents, service providers, alliances, suppliers, partners and end customers.

Our leading CIOs recognize this complexity requires greater attention to teaming both in terms of facilitating good teaming and oversight/governance. They create stakeholder councils chaired by their staff to insure all parties are grounded in the strategy they are supporting and that their objectives remain on target.

Aligning Compensation & Recognition Structures – These CIOs shift a portion of their staff’s compensation structures to reward for the satisfaction of users. A IT team must have a stake in the success of the rest of the company. They can’t puff out their chests for achieving SLAs if customer satisfaction plummeted due to changes we made to the online ordering system.

In the end, moving IT up the corporate value chain is about expanding the presence of IT beyond that of the CIO. It’s about people connecting with people. After all, people cannot value what they do not understand.

Anne Zink is founder of AZtech Strategies and go-to-market strategy consultant for the high tech industry. AZtech is dedicated to developing multi-channel strategies based on customer expectations, channel input, and industry expertise. AZtech specializes in bringing emerging technologies and services to market.