Redmond O'Leary, InterSystems

Repositioning the IT team for business success

Harnessing the power of the IT team to drive business success
Redmond O'Leary, InterSystems

10 September 2021

In association with InterSystems UKI

The role IT leaders and their teams play within organisations shouldn’t be underestimated. They are crucial to keeping the business operational and play a key role in the continued evolution of the organisation. However, more often than not, these professionals are overlooked. Instead of recognising the impact IT professionals can and do have on their organisation, the traditional way of thinking of them as a service delivery entity, rather than a partner within the business, is all too common.  

Research from McKinsey has found that more than three-quarters (76%) of organisations believe to best support the business, IT should play the role of a partner. However, this is currently only the case in just over a quarter (27%) of businesses. Consequently, decisive action is needed to reposition the IT team to become the partner companies need to cope with the changing nature of business and technology.   




Enablers of change

As data continues to shift from being part of the technology arm of the organisation to a fundamental part of the business itself, the need to reposition the IT team will become even greater. The starting point for this repositioning will be changing the mindset of both the IT team and the organisation as a whole, with IT leaders driving this change. This requires IT leaders to help other business leaders across the organisation to see the IT team as an enabler of innovation and demonstrate what they could achieve through a more collaborative relationship. After all, there is huge potential to be unlocked by making this change. Most notably it will allow them to connect data from across the organisation to gain real-time access and further a range of initiatives, from improving efficiency to enhancing the customer experience.

This repositioning will also be the key to success of businesses that have set their sights on the new frontier that is data maturity, ensuring they are able to achieve the required flow of clean, reliable data. With so much to be gained by taking on a more central role within the business, it is important that IT leaders help other divisions within the business to understand and demonstrate the value they would get from connecting all of their data. Doing so will help to get buy-in from across the business to allow for the IT team to become more of a partner and to implement the necessary changes to the organisation’s data architecture.

As well as repositioning their teams, IT leaders themselves should begin to take on a more central function within their organisation. In businesses that have already begun to make this change, it is now common for IT leaders such as Chief Data Officers to report into the CEO or COO, highlighting just how important their role and data is becoming to the business. Adopting this approach will empower other business to extract more value from both their IT experts and their data.

Unleashing the potential of data

By playing a more central role within businesses, IT teams will be able to provide all divisions of the business with a wider range of data capabilities. This will help to empower individuals and reduce their reliance on the IT team to surface the necessary data for them. Instead, the power to access real-time, consistent, and accurate data from across the entire enterprise will be in their hands.

These new capabilities will offer leaders from all areas of the business a wide range of benefits and opportunities, including enabling them to further key initiatives such as elevating the customer experience by giving them a 360-degree of their customers. They will also be in a position to offer their customers a more personalised experience, tailored to what they know about them, such as their preferences for being contacted, their history with the organisation, and the products or services most likely to be of interest to them.

With access to interconnected data, business leaders will also gain a more accurate and holistic view of their entire enterprise. This will ensure that decisions aren’t made in silo and are informed by real-time data and insight. Ultimately, this ability to make informed, accurate decisions based on clean, reliable, connected data to drive their business forward will help organisations to gain a competitive edge.

A path to data maturity

By enabling the IT team to take on the function of being a partner to the rest of the organisation, the entire business stands to benefit. This shift will empower IT teams to transition from being the doers within their business to becoming the enablers of change and progression.

This new positioning will also put the ability to access data in the hands of individuals across the business, thereby helping organisations to realise the true potential of both their data and their IT function. As technology and data continue to take act as key differentiators for businesses, repositioning the IT team in this way will go a long way to helping organisations to gain a much-needed competitive edge to move closer to achieving coveted data maturity.

Redmond O’Leary, sales manager for Ireland, InterSystems

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