As we all know, business leaders and end-users have strong opinions about IT and vice versa. Here is a summary of a recent poll I conducted across 52 large-cap and Fortune 1000 companies regarding what non-IT folks think of IT, along with a few recommendations on what CIOs can do about it.
First, here are the top KPIs that both Business and IT leaders agree on:
- Internal customer satisfaction survey scores
- Percentage of IT projects that meet or exceed projected benefits
And here are the areas where both parties seem to be misaligned:
- Percentage of IT projects that met or exceeded projected benefits. IT rated this higher than Business did.
- The amount of technology spend by business objective. Business rated this higher than IT did.
- The biggest area of misalignment is that business users believe IT lacks the agility and innovation with keep up with the pace of business.
Furthermore, business leaders want IT to show more tangible benefits from prior technology investments.
My discussions with various business leaders revealed that IT could show more value by focusing more on business oriented metrics instead of traditional internal IT performance metrics such as:
- Measuring IT performance based on percentage of IT costs to business revenue.
- Linking IT project success rates directly to business outcomes
- Measuring satisfaction of business users with IT via bimonthly or quarterly internal surveys, and external customer service levels.
- Measuring the agility of IT by number of projects in the innovation or incubation phases of investment or commercialization for the business.
- Monitoring and publishing data about projects that have been cancelled because IT was able to quickly determine they were not feasible for the business and hence not worth wasting more resources.
- Publishing data about IT projects that were only partially successful and sharing “lessons learned” that both IT and business stakeholders could incorporate within future projects.
The overarching goal for IT should be to move from delivering just a transactional service to having the agility of thought-leadership and scale to deliver a transformational service to the business. IT shouldn’t just focus on internal governance – it should also focus on how it can help the business with positive external outcomes and bottom line results.
What do you think? How does this apply to your experience with business leaders and CIOs in your organization?