IT’s relationships with the business functions – get better at supporting them, or risk getting bumped

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And here’s another core finding from our “State of IT Services Survey 2017”, where we spoke to 302 IT service decision makers from the Global 2000 to find out what they think of their IT services and digital consulting providers.

We asked IT decision makers to rate how successful different business units were at engaging with IT. The chart shows the top level results for all the business units.

 

                                                             Click to enlarge

The good thing is that the majority of business units have a broadly successful relationship with IT, with 66% of responses being successful or very successful – which is encouraging. Although that means 34% of business units don’t have successful relationships with their IT departments – which for Global 2000 organizations in such an increasingly digital age is worrying. Although we are likely seeing the tension of business units’ desire to use IT to operate more dynamically being tempered by their IT departments’ conservative nature to act in a safe operating environment. 

HR departments have the worst relationships on average, with 40% of IT managers questioning whether the engagement is successful. This is concerning as IT departments need to demonstrate how technology can be applied in an HR setting – it is not just about buying the latest SaaS product like Workday. Looking at how data can help fuel better decision making for HR leaders, use predictive analytics to identify employee needs and use IT tools to assess potential employees more objectively. HR also has a key role to play in data protection and instilling the right culture of data protection within the organization. Given that employees pose one of the biggest data protection threats, IT should get HR onside.

Bottom Line – good IT fosters good relationships, poor IT fosters poor relationships

What has not detected in our surveys is an inflection point in IT and business unit relationships – whether the reliance from one to the other is increasing or decreasing as when we compare with similar survey work the change is only small on average. However, it does appear that the better relationships seem to be getting better and the worse relationships seem to be getting worse. Given that the choice to use external IT is easier (if not necessarily cheaper) than it has been – the fact that the worse relationships are getting worse is a worrying sign for IT departments. With the growing increase in the functionality and the breadth of SaaS and cloud services, it is not mad to envision a time when a large organization could move beyond the internal IT department toward a matrix of cloud procured products and services. So it is vital that IT continues to foster these relationships – get better or get bumped.

Posted in : 2017 State of Industry Study, HR Strategy, IT Outsourcing / IT Services

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