"Number one, as IT practitioners, we must embrace this interdependence between IT and business and step out of the support function into a more strategic role," he says. "We must also partner with the business to develop new products and identify new market opportunities. At the same time, the business needs to embrace the value of IT as a strategic partner. Finally, together, we must embark on this transformation to deliver both growth and productivity."
For instance, he says, companies can take a page from Google's playbook: At Google, when the annual planning process rolls around, it is the business unit leaders rather than the CIO that step up to defend new IT projects that will benefit their business unit. This, Iyer says, encourages IT and business stakeholders to align their priorities and the budget.
"They step up and say, 'I cannot grow in these markets if these 10 IT projects are not executed,'" Iyer says. "Why is the CIO the only guy who is going to defend why IT should put money into the CRM system?"
Iyer says businesses should also seek to involve IT more closely in the Research and Development process at the beginning, where practitioners can help keep processes streamlined from the start rather than coming in after the fact to streamline workflow and other processes. Additionally, IT needs to embrace disruptive technologies like cloud, mobile and big data that propel business growth and create an opportunity for IT to step into a more strategic role.
"It should be a collaborative process," he says. "There's no other breakthrough in management that I know of that has as much bang for the buck as information technology."
Thor Olavsrud covers IT Security, Big Data, Open Source, Microsoft Tools and Servers for CIO.com. Follow Thor on Twitter @ThorOlavsrud. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline and on Facebook. Email Thor at firstname.lastname@example.org
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