Role of IT function in a user organization

Last few days I have had discussions with our Head of Client services and Underwriting about his challenges at work and in turn his expectations from IT in order to overcome these challenges. Incidentally, he has been invited to speak in a CIO conclave being held in Egypt. The theme of his talk: Crossing the functional divide – Expectation from IT department. While we discussed and debated many points, one important point stood out. He expects IT function to play the role of “evangelist”!!!

Business functions no longer expect IT to be passive onlookers – the maintainers of status quo! They expect IT to lead them to business improvement and creating value in terms of topline & bottomline.

Does this mean that I have to unlearn what I learnt after the dot.com bubble burst – “Technology should never drive business!!!” However, at least one business head I work with thinks that technology should indeed drive business.

What does this mean to IT? Don’t just drown yourself into the millions of lines of codes and stay closeted in tables and fields. Reach out. Invest time and effort in understanding the domain you serve. Identify pain points and areas of improvement. Design and propose technology solutions addressing these pain areas and aggressively and passionately pursue them with business functions.

No wonder then that, organizations are now creating the role of Business Analyst in their business or IT functions!!!

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