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Grow Your Business Technology

Despite Shared Goals, IT Often at Odds with Rest of Company

While the vast majority of chief information technology officers believe their departments play a critical role in helping their firms ride out the recession, two-thirds say they are sometimes at odds with co-workers outside their department, according to a recent survey.

And, only 40 percent of IT leaders think their co-workers respect an information technologist’s role and experience. One reason for the disconnect may be that communication hurdles hinder IT employees from positively interacting with other staff members, according to the survey from technology staffing firm TEKsystems.

TEKsystems’ research pointed toward ways businesses can improve the IT department’s ability to positively impact the business:

  • Institutionalizing open communication and business-oriented training programs. “While many companies focus on technology related training to maintain skills, the focus should also be on providing contextual information, enabling IT professionals to view their role in terms of the organization’s strategies and initiatives,” said Matt Hannigan, vice president of TEKsystems’ organizational development.
  • Framing ITs' objectives in terms of the business challenges that they are assigned to solve. This helps define their roles and provides a gauge of whether big-picture business challenges are being resolved.
  • Emphasizing soft skills and business intelligence when hiring IT employees. “Technical skills are a necessity,” Hannigan said, “but they aren’t enough if IT wants to make a true business impact.”