A few years ago when IT/business alignment was the buzz phrase that you heard everywhere, the impetus for this coming to pass seemed to belong to IT. It was all about IT pros developing soft skills and being able to talk "business" with the others at the executive table.
That still holds true, but what wasn't completely anticipated a few years ago was the way technology itself would propel the alignment of IT with business. Business movements like BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and Big Data have paved the way for IT pros who want to sit at the "big table."
In both cases, CEOs and end-users know what they want - numbers and statistics that demonstrate what the business needs to do more or less of to succeed. So who knows what systems to put in place to collect this all-important data? IT.
The Business Intelligence company LogiXML asked more than 750 IT professionals across multiple industries about BI and its users, and it found that 45 percent said users don't understand how much goes into a BI project. A combined 50 percent said users never know exactly what they want, or what they want until after the project is completed; a combined 90 percent said that "users' understanding of BI was either informed, but ill-equipped; curious, but uninformed; or helpless and hopeless."
"Our survey data suggests that most IT professionals believe that users of BI are or would be dead in the water without IT's help on BI projects," said Ken Chow, CMO, LogiXML.
There's never been a better time for IT to step up and show what tech can do to drive the business. If end-users and executives know what they'd like to see, show them how to get it. Examine the way your company currently collects data and suggest better ways of doing it and then of mining that data. Do your homework, talk to some vendors, then talk to other companies who have made successful strides in the way of business intelligence. Then show 'em what you can do.
Toni Bowers is the former Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.