Stop Telling Them What to Do ? They Know Better

Have you ever been engaged into conversations with CXOs specially the CIOs or the IT decision makers ? If yes then you would understand the context of my writing.
Many times we go into an organization with a sales strategy , with a bit of research on what there business are , what is there IT focus (hypothetically). However with our enthusiasm and in a hurry to sale our technology vision and products we start telling them (IT Folks) what there TOP business needs are and the IT should work according to there business needs. IT should become self sustaining and blah blah blah ….

The fact that IT is about business and that IT executives should be adept in business matters has been written and talked about a gazillion times by everyone who even remotely has anything to do with IT on this planet.
Some times we go so overboard that we give wrong message, I mean an outsider (vendors) knows better about the business needs of the company than the internal IT of that company? Are you serious?

It is not that IT folks do not practice this every day when they are in midst of their business teams or with others. In my observations with whatever litlle exposure I have that leaving aside a handful, every IT team member has a good view of the business even if it is narrow view of the function s/he supports. As you move up the ladder the articulation gets better and the view broader.
Most of the consultants or research report continues to talk about alignment and enabling the business. The message has remained the same; the words have changed to include the latest trend – cloud, big data, mobility, security, and social media – as if these are critical components of business rather than technology.
One of the core competencies of IT is that they understand technology and are able to apply it to influence business outcomes. If IT did not understand technology, its pros and cons, the application of technology solutions would not be consistent.
For argument sake lets say IT doesn’t understand business , then who would validate the efficacy of a given solution and that it is being used to its optimal capacity or value or benefit ?

As vendors we need to engage deep with IT and business both on equal terms getting into deep dives on every technology component as well as the integrated solution to understand how it will deliver to promise as well as coexist with the current technology framework and architecture the organization has.
The diversity of technologies, hardware, software, applications, networking, storage, cloud, dashboards, analytics, reports and reporting tools, mobile devices, data management, security, each requires extensive effort to understand how they impact each other and then manage them effectively. 

There can be many ways, communication methods which can be put to use when discussing technology/business and what value proposition your products bring on table which can solve a given business problem. How the new technology and product integrates with there existing processes/frameworks is a key to your success, one can’t go into embracing a new technology just because it’s a buzzword or everyone else is doing it.

So , Stop telling them what to do and what there business needs are they(IT Teams) understand business much better than any outsider. However you have to work with them, by just not telling what to do but also how to do it.

Technology needs business as much as business needs technology today.Hopefully there will be people who will be techno-business focused who can balance the needs of both the sides. Same is required from IT Companies when discussing with there customer’s.

P.S : I am no industry veteran , but these are my observations early in my career. I don’t tell my customers what they need to do, I work along with them.

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