From the Isurus Archives: The strategic IT function

Over the years Isurus has published various thought and opinions pieces on the challenges B2B marketers face. Every now and again we look to the past to see if what we said then still rings true today.

There is considerable buzz in the media today about the development of the strategic IT department and how CIOs think as much about the business as they do about technology. Much of the talk has focused on mobility and data analytics. Taking a long term view this trend is evolutionary rather than revolutionary and one Isurus identified in the early 2000’s – the last time there was a surge of new technology that changed the competitive landscape. The following is a summary of an opinion piece from 2001 called Aligning with the times, where we discussed the trend of IT becoming more strategic in its role and its relationships with the rest of the company.

At Isurus, we’ve noticed an evolution in organizational behavior with implications for marketers of enterprise technology. In a growing number of organizations, senior business executives and senior IT professionals are developing a common vision and understanding of the strategic role of technology. In other words, there is a growing “alignment” in how these two groups think. Senior business is more knowledgeable about technology than ever before. More important, senior IT professionals have developed a greater understanding of the business implications of technology. This shift has narrowed the historical gap between senior business and IT. The result is greater trust between the two within many organizations. The alignment is not complete. Still, the trend toward alignment is apparent and growing. It is particularly visible in activities where technology is of strategic importance, such as in e-commerce, enhancing customer service and loyalty, or facilitating knowledge sharing. Senior business executives tell us: “We have a team approach. We work with IT to figure out what we want to do, and then the IT department figures out how to do it.” Senior business and technology executives do not see eye to eye on all purchases. Increasingly, however differences tend to be about trying to do too much too fast, not about whether to spend for essential technology.