The BusinessIT Relationship

The lack of a good relationship between the business and IT areas often figures prominently in the problems that arise when IT is left out of alliance negotiations. In the past, the data processing (DP) staff members were the only employees who knew anything about computers. The DP operation often featured a mainframe hidden in a basement corner. The computer performed batch operations, with viewing capabilities only during the day.

By contrast, today's PC/Internet environment allows significant, individual processing capabilities. Over time, the business community has also become far more knowledgeable about technology. In addition, some successful IT staff have moved to the business side of the organization, bringing their IT knowledge. As business users' computer knowledge increases, they feel less need to involve IT early on in the alliance process.

At the same time, however, the IT environment is becoming far more complex. The environment of mainframes and dumb terminals has changed to one of fully networked PCs, servers, and mainframes across LANs and WANs. Systems are no longer developed in flat file formats; developers now use relational and object databases with new languages. So the business areas cannot keep pace with IT

changes. For their part, IT staff members easily get caught up in the newest toys and latest technology, implementing solutions for the sake of using new technology, rather than meeting business needs.

The "expense factor" also contributes to the ineffective business/IT relationship. Here, because the business areas view IT as an expense that is constantly increasing, they try to avoid dealing with it until absolutely necessary. Because IT is often critical to company-set priorities, resources are too tight to designate time up front. However, up-front time is necessary in alliances, just as investing time up front in system development helps save time on back-end rework and retesting.

If IT spends time developing and fostering a positive value-added relationship with the business area, the business will naturally include IT sooner. In addition, it helps if a good business/IT relationship is developed before the two must interact in the stressful, time-sensitive manner that an alliance requires.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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