Why IT Needs to Step Up as a Business Partner

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While most C-level executives believe that IT should serve as a collaborative partner to the business, only a minority said this is actually happening, according to a recent survey from McKinsey Company. The article, titled “Partnering to Shape the Future—IT’s New Imperative,” reveals that the IT department is perceived as a consultant to the business instead of assisting with a digital transformation strategy. IT is considered as a simple supplier of tech services. It doesn’t help that tech and non-tech leaders disagree about what should serve as top IT priorities. Significantly more non-IT execs than IT execs, for example, feel that the tech department should focus more on improving IT-related business processes. Non-tech execs also are more likely to believe that IT needs to support managers with better information for planning and decision-making. Clearly, both sides must more effectively align goals to pave the way for a productive partnership. “Implementing a partnership model … requires a shift in mind-set from the leadership team down to the front line,” according to the article. “True partners can proactively help the business to think about enabling technology and delivering IT services that truly fit the needs of both the business and customers. To reap the full benefits of partnership, stakeholders across the board must adopt a partner mind-set toward the services (and value) that IT provides rather than thinking of their IT colleagues as consultants or suppliers.” More than 700 tech and C-level execs took part in the research.