Newly-appointed IT directors should focus on completing smaller IT projects quickly and understanding wider business issues to win confidence from other departments, Financial Services Authority IS director Darryl Salmons told the IT Directors Forum this week.
"When you join a company as an IT director you have the luxury of a period of grace to learn, and so showing a genuine interest in business issues from the start can help bridge the divides you find between business and IT departments," he said.
Salmons said that prior to him joining the FSA, the organisation had no IT strategy and there was no relationship between the business and IT. The problem he had inherited was so bad that the business had lost confidence in IT.
"Before IT managers can build bridges, they have to prove themselves, so getting a run of quick project wins under your belt is important.
"Being interested in business issues also helps dispel the stereotypical image of IT staff being seen as insular."
Salmons also said that it was important for IT directors to take the initiative when building bridges and to establish a common vehicle for IT and business to converse.
As a result of implementing these measures at the FSA, Salmons said that business confidence in IT had increased, as had the reputation of the department.
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