Harapanahalli uses storytelling at Genentech as a way to sell candidates on the company. For example, he talks about how the IT department positively impacts patients and physicians dealing with serious illnesses. "We're trying to tap into sharing those stories to motivate people and connect to the company mission. When that happens you see much better engagement and contribution."
5. Change IT's perception internally
The final piece of advice is to get internal customers and business partners to see your group as a strategic partner for them and a value-add for external customers.
To do this, choose your words carefully. For example, start referring to your internal customers as "partners" and stop calling the rest of your company "the business." Make sure you communicate the value of your work with both customer groups across the organization. Then, get a seat at the table at the right meetings with other departments.
Each of these five steps will gain respect for the IT department and will help employees inside and outside of your IT group buy into the more customer-centric model. Additionally, it could attract talent from other departments and boost morale of existing IT workers. Harapanahalli said the future is bright for the customer-centric IT organization if you can "figure out where you're adding value and get out of the way where you're not."
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.