Is Your IT Truly An Equal Partner in Digitalization?

Organizations face constant pressure to adapt, innovate, and stay ahead of the competition. One crucial factor in this digital transformation is the role of the internal IT team. While many companies view their IT department already as a collaborating party there as still organizations where IT is considered as an internal support function. If you’re putting your IT to the support box, you should recognize the immense value and missed opportunities you would gain if you’d have IT as a collaborative partner in digital development.

At this point, most of the organizations representatives will strongly advise me to bite it since their IT has been the collaborating partner and a critical player in digitalization for a long time now. That’s awesome! Then I have only two questions for you:

  • Do your IT people feel like they are equal partners in digitalization?
  • Has the whole organization adopted this way of thinking and operating?

Does Your IT Collaboration Exist Only on Paper?

Organizations that recognize the importance of transforming their internal IT function into a collaborative partner in digital development have taken a significant step forward. However, transitioning from a support function to a joint partner is about more than just changing the role on a PowerPoint slide. It requires aligning culture and operations to match the newfound vision. So is it worth the effort in the first place if the stated collaboration partner role of IT doesn’t match the reality?

By not following through with the transformation, organizations overlook significant benefits and untapped potential when their IT team is confined to an in-between role of support and part-time partner.

From Support Role to Collaborative Powerhouse

Bridging the gap between IT’s stated collaboration partner role and the actual reality is a complex endeavor that requires careful evaluation and consideration. We all know we start with culture and breaking down silos, but I haven’t heard of many organizations working on integrating IT operations and processes with other departments. By integrating operations and processes, we’ll ensure that IT is involved in decision-making processes from the early stages of digital development projects. The company can optimize collaboration and streamline workflows by aligning IT’s operations with the organization’s management frameworks, methodologies, and governance structures. At the same time, the integration also facilitates knowledge sharing, coordination, and seamless execution.

Mutual Trust; The Foundation of Successful IT-Business Collaboration

Then we move again to more known grounds for building trust and credibility. Traditionally this has felt like IT gang has to work to get the trust, but today, it’s how it should be a two-way street. Be it IT or Business, to be seen as a genuine collaborative partner, trust and credibility are paramoun. Building trust requires consistent delivery of high-quality solutions, effective communication, and transparent decision-making processes from both sides. In cooperation format, it’s no longer them and us; it’s only us, and that affects everything from employee satisfaction to the delivery phase and quality.

Staying Ahead With Continuous Improvement

Learning and development, feedback, and iterative improvement are as crucial parts of everyday tasks in IT as they can be. Providing opportunities for technical and soft skills training, participation in industry events, and exposure to emerging trends and technologies will empower IT teams to stay at the forefront of digital development and innovation. Even if I concentrate on the IT side here also Business side benefits from continuous development efforts. Remeber; not us and them, but us! And by embracing an iterative approach and continuously improving processes together, the whole company can adapt its operations to meet the organization’s evolving needs and strengthen its position as a collaborative partner.

How Collaboration Shapes Employee Satisfaction and Branding

Whether it is a collaboration between the internal IT support function or the IT unit of digitalization specialists and the business, it will impact employee satisfaction and employer branding. The impact is totally dependent on your story and how it sticks with the truth! If you even think your collaboration genuinely exists only on paper, I recommend you start asking from IT people about their opinion. Nothing is worse for the reputation than selling uncovered promises. And trust me, the IT guys and girls will know!

So if you still need to check your organization’s temperature, I challenge you to stop by with your closest IT person and have a little heart-to-heart chat about how they see the collaboration. You never know, they might surprise you!