When I attend IT conferences, I often hear speakers refer to "the business", presumably meaning all departments outside of their own.
However, I have recently been to both HR and finance conferences, and was intrigued to hear presenter after presenter saying "HR and the business," and "finance and the business". I am beginning to wonder who this "business" actually is!
The days of IT being a service department are over. We are now as front-line - and important to bottom-line profit, corporate branding and our company's future - as anyone. I can't speak for HR or finance, but there is no doubt that in this day of e-everything, IT means business and the business is IT.
This changes relationships, processes and attitudes at a fundamental level. Whereas historically we would work with others outside of IT to steer them towards optimum use of technology, to stimulate so-called "end-users" to be creative, now we are as much a part of it all.
In this new world we must engage all parts of our business around effective use of technology, software and applications.
We can do this by:
As I have said many times, imagination has overtaken technology. No matter what we wish to do in this Internet, Wap and mobile age, there will be a technical solution available. Therefore, as IT people, the traditional business is looking to us for guidance and leadership, not the other way around.
This is a great time to be in IT. We have huge opportunities to lead our companies, and their employees forward, guiding them through the complex future, and simplifying what we do around them. Ignite them in what we do, and our future is certain, and secure.
David Taylor's Inside Track. A provocative insight into the world of IT in business, is out now. The book is the latest in the Computer Weekly Professional Series, published by Butterworth Heinemann: 01865-888180