August 25th, 2008 | By: Francis van Roode, Senior Management Consultant
Ever since the first computers were first put to the task of handling business functions, there has been a divide between business managers and technology managers.
This gap was created due to the lack of understanding of how each side
operates and is motivated.
Business leaders are focused on what their business is about - ie: A
parts manufacturer will be concerned about delivery of raw materials,
production output levels, cash flow, revenue, etc. The CEO's train
of thought is how to make the business grow, run efficiently, satisfying
the customers and creating value (money) for the shareholders / owners.
In contrast, technology managers are concerned about meeting business
process requirements, systems availability, user satisfaction, and
cost controlling the cost of IT operations.
There is a lot of similarity between these
two areas of management. Business managers are working to keep the
business running efficiently while IT managers are working to provide
efficiencies by applying technology to accelerate the business. IT
is looking to satisfy customers (users). By applying its
investment in IT fully, the
business is enabled to run more effectively and with a lowered cost of
So why the gap? Perhaps it is the fear of having something
inside the business that isn't well understood and trust becomes an
issue. Regardless of the reason, the gap exists today but is
showing signs of weakening. With the newer generation of
business managers moving up the corporate ranks, there is more
experience with business based technology and how it enables a business
to be stronger and more agile.
Computers revolutionized how we do business - now the evolution of our own understanding is catching up.