IT departments and wider business lack understanding

Claranet says this lack of understanding can seriously hurt business goals.

Even though understanding between IT departments and the wider business slightly improved in the last year, it's still a long way to go before the two are on the same wavelength.  This is according to the latest research by managed services provider Claranet

After surveying 900 IT leaders from mid-market organisations in six markets (Germany, Benelux, France, Spain, Portugal, and the UK), Claranet says just above a quarter (28 per cent) of IT departments understand the needs of the wider business. Other way around, 26 per cent of IT leaders believe the wider business understands what IT department actually does. 

A year before, these percentages stood at 26 and 21 per cent, respectively. Andy Wilton, CIO of Claranet, says extra effort needs to be shown, to reduce this gap: 

“This upturn is positive, but nowhere near sufficient for the goals of most modern businesses and the buck stops with IT leaders. IT leaders have a key role to play in building understanding between their department and the wider business. Those IT leaders who aren’t prioritising developing an understanding between IT and the business are harming their own career prospects and the prospects of their business. In all sectors we see how great applications and data management lead to business success. IT teams and managers have a key leadership role to play here, but without greater business understanding, the opportunities will be missed.” 

“IT leaders need to be more visible and proactive than ever, because if they aren’t evangelising about the importance of the role of IT in a business, who will? By acting as a figurehead for IT in a business and encouraging dialogue between teams, the IT department gains a much better idea of what individual teams do and how to support them. Equally, business functions will benefit from innovative approaches to IT that will aid their performance.” 

Wilton said IT teams need to focus more on apps and data which are key to business success.