As IT Consulting Professionals/ become a lot more comfortable with data and technology, and as they fund a lot of their own tech projects their IT needs has to align with the way they manage their business. One byproduct of companies investing more on cloud services and requiring more and more of their managers to adapt to a cloud infrastructure. IT professionals are dealing with an ever greater diversity of business partners. They also have to deal with key partners, i.e. IT consultants, as smaller start-ups spring up or line managers.
All this means that IT teams have to be influenced with the greater cause of modernized IT. Whereas some business partners need help from IT to understand the potential of digital capabilities, others may want technical help to access data in enterprise systems or build their own APIs.
The Five Roles
It’s important that CIOs realize the different degrees of IT ambition and digital ability that their “internal customers” have. IT teams should think about building a digital model that can not only engage but provide different types of support based on the kind of help business partners need – where and when.
To do this, IT professionals need to play one (or more) of five roles to provide the help business partners are looking for.
- 1. Evangelizing: Not all business partners are enthused by digitization. IT should inspire and educate them about new digital opportunities.
- 2. Consulting: IT should offer advice and frameworks to help business partners who want to define and articulate a digital vision and own the digital experiments aligned to that vision. The IT team at a global medical technology company, for instance, created a framework to guide business partners on due diligence conversations as they work with technology vendors themselves.
- 3. White Labeling: Enabling business partners who want to own their own IT or digital initiatives also requires IT to provide access to internal and external expertise. For instance, the EA team at a leading beverage manufacturer evaluated more than 100 startups and emergent vendors and brokered connections with internal business sponsors.
- 4. Coaching: IT can also use its cross-company vantage point and technical expertise to coach employees. This will help them understand and embrace new systems and a new IT infrastructure.
- 5. Delivering: IT should also enter the “technology delivery process” (IT speak for completing a project or rolling-out an existing technology or piece of software) based on where it has comparative advantage. A leading consumer packaged goods company, for instance, defines trigger points based on scalability and risk and compliance to inform both business partners and IT when a business-led initiative should transition to IT for full-scale deployment.