Despite digital resources playing an ever greater role in the modern workplace, there is a clear disconnect between business and IT leadership according to Forbes and a 2017 study by Forrester. While other business units are actively integrated into organizational processes and objectives, CTOs, CIOs, and CISOs are often left out of the key planning discussions even though their departments are key to meeting operational goals.
Several factors contribute to this, including the lingering perception of the IT department as a money-draining luxury. However, having an IT resource on-hand is just as important as maintaining legal counsel or an accounting team to ensure integral business processes can continue to function. Corporate culture still has not fully caught up to quantifying IT as contributing to business value despite the increasing reliance on digital assets to conduct even basic transactions.
Part of the reason for this lag is that even with the progressive adoption of digital resources, IT is still overloaded with technical jargon that is not communicated succinctly or simply enough for many ground-level employees or executive decision-makers to understand. Contributing to this are the influxes of evolving cyber attack and data privacy regulations, which conversely also lead to desperate, often misinformed responses by business leadership to manage intrusions or comply with complex guidelines.
The first step to bridging this disconnect is to recharacterize the conversation around the purpose of IT to accurately define its value to your business:
“What digital resources do we use?”
“How much would it cost us if they went down?”
“If we suffer a breach, will client data be exposed?”
These are all questions you must answer to gauge the true value of your IT resources, yet obviously without firsthand knowledge of the full scope of your digital assets (which is generally delivered by IT resources), it will be hard to answer these points completely. This is a paradox that you must decide how to address with the answer to one last question – “Can my business survive without IT?” If the answer is no, then it goes without saying that you need IT input to provide the type of insight required to make informed decisions around your digital assets.
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