A remarkable shift has occurred in the business world over the past 10 years. Technology is transforming from being a purely support function to becoming a full-fledged partner in the business process. If only all business leaders would recognize that without technology the business doesn’t operate. Even as this transition occurs, technology staff still have “offensive lineman syndrome”. By that I mean, no organization is going to be successful without them, but they only get their name called when they do something wrong.
When I first began my career as a programmer, our IT division was considered simply a support function. We didn’t need to know why we were doing what we were doing, just make it work. All business decisions were made by the business unit and IT was called in to put hands on keyboard and implement the business decision. Slowly that has begun to change. IT was called in more frequently to help craft a solution, not just provide a product, but to implement a solution.
In a strategy session a few years ago, we were discussing the impact technology professionals make on the success of the business. The question was asked, “How do we get the organization to recognize the importance of the technology we bring to the table?” A friend said, “On Monday, I am going to turn off all the servers and network switches. Then they will see how important technology is.” I think he was joking. (That is not a strategy we decided on or would I ever recommend). However, the point was well taken. Without the technology we supported and kept running, the whole organization would grind to a halt. (See City of Baltimore, 2019 for an example).
In today’s business place, technology intertwines with every facet of business. A good technology professional must know the business side, in contrast, the business leader does not have to know the technology, other than how to use it. As a result, technology professionals are relied upon to make decisions and provide solutions to a wide array of issues facing businesses. In many organizations, technology leaders still do not have a seat at the big table. Why not? It is time to utilize technology for the innovative thinking and capabilities technology professionals can bring to the business side.
Technology touches every area of your business. It is imperative for technology leaders to have a seat at the table to develop solutions to the most complex problems facing businesses. With the integrated nature of technology throughout every organization, can you afford to leave out a valuable piece of the puzzle?