7. Sell, Sell, Sell
IT's contributions to the business may not be obvious to other business leaders. It is the job of the CIO and IT managers to educate them about what IT can and should do. Marketing creates and shapes demand; sales satisfies demand. If you aren't including both marketing and sales in your efforts, don't be surprised if the other CXOs misunderstand the IT function.
Unfortunately, the mentality of many IT groups is that they are very busy and prefer not to take on more. While this may be true, it is not a positive way to demonstrate value and partnership with the business. A good IT governance process creates a mechanism for business leaders to understand and make judgments about alternatives and trade-offs.
Efforts to make IT more efficient and effective go far deeper than simply cutting costs. Done poorly, cost cutting can damage both the IT group and the business, and the effects may be very difficult to overcome-even in a more favorable economic climate. To deliver the greatest value, focus on the right initiatives with the right team of people and vendors, and communicate more effectively with your peers. Admittedly, being a CIO is not an easy job, but someone's got to do it.
Bob Riddell is a senior director and Eric Ullman is a director with Alvarez & Marsal Business Consulting specializing in information technology.
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