In recent years, we’ve seen a huge increase in the number of companies outsourcing their IT departments globally, the main drivers being lowering costs, unavailability of skilled people and a focus on hiring core business competencies as well.

Today, the main reason for keeping the IT department in-house is the fact that IT and the business are increasingly interdependent on each other – in fact IT is crucial for survival in more than one way. The IT Department not only supports several business systems used by C-levels, they are also the sole manager of the company’s databases and data warehouse where raw business data is transformed into valuable information used by analysts, controllers and various stakeholders in the company.

There is a catch to all this: Without the right people, knowledge sharing and efficient processes, all your efforts will be worth less than intended. For the CFO to know about IT systems and the CIO to know about the business needs, both departments must collaborate closer than ever before. 

Data: Not only yours – but everybody’s business

Any company that vies for a place among the corporate stars needs their data faster and organized in a more efficient way than is the case in many companies today. Inefficient BI reporting systems, delays in processes and inefficient data extraction causing delays continue to be real challenges in many organizations. Without the right tools you won’t get your data fast enough.

The question is: Can your organization handle it?

Dr. Barry Devlin, author of the best-selling “From Architechture to Implementation” outlines 8 approaches/steps/ways to go about getting your organization primed for the new era of data-driven management:

  1. Evaluate how the ability to adopt, innovate and taking in new systems responds with the need for outsourcing important IT processes. Are there any trade-offs for the business?
  2. Evaluate the degree of lock-ins and other restrictions new systems present your IT department or business with before investing.
  3. Invest in additional training and knowledge building for important key persons in both the IT and business department, bringing IT and business units closer together with an increased understanding of the other’s needs and values.
  4. Invite business executives and/or IT managers to discuss key strategy performance indicators
  5. Create a unit of Business & Technology with key people from the IT and business intelligence units who can identify and drive ideas and initiatives throughout the organization.
  6. Cross-functional brainstorming on executive level with IT and business units, on how to drive innovation and monetizing on the data, processes and systems available in the company.
  7. Reduce barriers between IT and other functions to avoid the image of IT as “unresponsive to requests”.
  8. For those with a well-staffed BI and Analytics department combined with a strong data warehousing setup, it’s advisable to start here and work your way out to the rest of the organization, integrating the IT & Business one step at a time, using the abovementioned tips.

Source: Business unintelligence – Insight and Innovation Beyond Analytics and Big Data by Dr. Berry Devlin

Does your IT and Business work closely together? Or is there room for improvement?

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