IT Governance

4 Tips for Building a Culture around Business Outcomes

IT governance pursues a few major goals today, and perhaps chief among them is delivering business outcomes. The untapped power of IT to augment and transform the business is huge, and IT leaders are essentially gold miners. So in an article for, Martha Heller shares four tips for building an IT culture that centers around outcomes:

  1. Implement rotational programs.
  2. Change your assessment criteria.
  3. Develop a services model.
  4. Tap your vendor partners.

Positioned to Deliver

Rotational programs are programs in which IT employees are given opportunities to take on roles in other business areas, like supply chain or marketing, for upward of months at a time. When these employees return, they have new hybrid skill sets and can function confidently across business units. If you have the capacity to allow a program like this, then buddy up with HR to craft a formal plan. Your newly cross-functional IT staff will be well equipped to create new advantages for the business.

Another way to drive business outcomes is to reassess the metrics by which IT’s ability to support the business is measured. For instance, Microsoft used to measure IT’s ability to support marketing by using two metrics—speed of solution delivery and marketing’s happiness with IT. These were replaced by something else—measuring whether or not technology solutions “actually increase the volume and the quality of sales leads.”

About developing a service model, Heller writes this:

When Gerri Martin-Flickinger was CIO of Adobe Systems, she transformed her staff from an IT team to a business team by restructuring the organization on a services model. Services fell into three families: employee, business and technical. Each family was broken into discrete services, including collaboration services, billing services, and storage. “I told my team that they needed to act like the CEO of their service,” says Martin-Flickinger. “I said, ‘I want you to know your customers and understand that you’ll be out of business if your customers don’t buy from you…

Perhaps most forward-thinking of all is the suggestion of extending vendor partner relationships. In this instance, the idea is to take “business” people in your company and pair them with your vendors. The vendors teach your people about IT processes, and the business people teach vendors about your business. Such coaching and training arrangements could be written into contracts, with more strategic relationships and empowered workers being the final result.

You can view the original article here:

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