technical vs business
Enterprise collaboration is a concept that almost everyone supports, but is rarely implemented correctly and fully accepted. This is because businesses do not know what they are aiming to achieve, and end up failing the project. In order to improve the success of these projects, CIOs need to not only support the functionality, but also be a champion for it. This means using the software instead of telling others to.
Experts say that enterprises struggle with cross-functional communication from department to department or office to office. Collaboration tools can assist with this but requires identifying specific needs to choose what software to use. There is also a disconnect between the needs of employees and the C suite. Older executives are struggling to embrace technologies that seem simple to younger employees, which create a hazy picture for implementing a new technology. The biggest challenge, however, is the employees’ mindset about collaboration technology. If the demand for employees is not there, they will just work around the technology and ruin the return on the project.
What experiences have you had with collaboration tools at Temple or at an internship? What was more successful?
Instead of having a chargeback model for organizations with IT as Engine Room, do you think it is better for all organizations not in the IT is the Business or Everyone’s IT spectrum to move towards the IT as Global Service Provider that the article suggests?
The CIO Executive Board believes that the best model is the one where IT operations are broken into 12 to 24 business services and assigning costs to each one. This is very similar to how IT as Global Service Provider works as it offers a limited menu of services and avoids the tedious line item cost accounting that chargebacks require. Additionally, instead of using IT terms, the IT department would use business terms so there is no confusion on the part of the business units. The business units may not understand what it means when IT tells them they’ve used X amount of network bandwidth, but they will understand when they’re billed for videoconferencing.
Another question I have relates to IT as Global Service Provider. We’ve discussed this IT structure at length but has anyone worked at a company that’s actually modeled this way? If so, how was it?
This article about managing IT projects features an interview with Joe Spagnoletti, CIO of Campbell Soup Company. Spangoletti discuses how he approaches the responsibilities of IT projects and who is accountable for the result. He states that Campbell Soup is moving from an order taking model to a demand driving model. This new model empowers business managers to have more say in IT investments and the IT project portfolio. This means that IT employees work closer with the business side of the company to have a better understanding of the business manager’s desired impact of the project. There are some negatives with this model. The first is determining who owns the decisions. It can be ambiguous who is responsible when an IT employee proposes an idea and the business employee accepts the plan. Another negative is that IT can face more scrutiny under this model. There is more transparency with IT costs and how much value is actually achieved. This puts IT under a magnifying glass and which can seem threatening to the department. Spagnoletti echoes one of the most important concepts of our class: IT decisions need to align with the business strategy. When IT works alone, the business does not get what it needs.
Where would we fall in this business/IT interaction? Would we be middlemen? How can companies face some of the downsides to this model?