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BLOG: Elevating the conversation: How to better communicate with business

Marian Cook | Feb. 13, 2014
A new year is an opportunity to reflect. For me, how IT positions itself within the business is top of mind. How are we communicating our value to the rest of the organization? While we’ll always have to address delivery challenges, IT won’t be considered partners and peers with business if we focus our dialog solely on tactical issues or technical difficulties.

According to a McKinsey survey (Elevating Technology on the Boardroom Agenda), current technology or IT related issues addressed by the Board include:

  • IT strategy
  • Forward looking views of technology’s impact on the company’s industry
  • Approval/review of very large IT projects
  • Yearly discussion on how IT enables broader business strategy
  • Security and risk related issues
  • IT talent, succession and mentoring

Gartner Group, in Working With the Board of Directors, has their own list of common board-CIO subjects:

  • Financial approval for large IT initiatives
  • Update on IT enterprise strategy
  • Update on IT enterprise performance
  • M&A and divestitures
  • Major program milestone missed
  • Security or data privacy break

All are both short and long term business and technology matters.

These topics could position IT as business savvy, focused and enabling. Board members and the business want to understand the business impact of what we do without the geek talk, and these topics can be a platform to do so.  We can demonstrate our business value, our understanding that things urgently need to change, and how we’re going to change them.

And, considering how much we have successfully done and have planned, an overarching message of momentum is a fit. This is a strong, positive word connoting progress and urgency, which absolutely rings true.

Fresh thinking for us.

The plan is still under construction.  More work to be done on our end to determine what is appropriate, but it will be well worth the effort.

Source: Computerworld


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