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Information Technology: Get Your Mojo!

What IT can provide stakeholders

IT can provide lines of a variety of stakeholders with original ideas and fresh thinking -- a possibility rarely acknowledged by those outside of IT, who don’t engage often enough.

I’ve often argued that the motivation and efforts of an IT organization should be transcendental: they must exceed the narrow limits of incumbent technologies and established architectural frameworks. Such efforts shouldn’t only be rational, they should be visionary. Sometimes, this means IT takes the reigns.

Now that we have the hypothesis out of the way, let me take a moment to turn you on to Mojo Nixon, he of I Gotta Crazy Wife, That Someone Just Ain’t You, and When Did I Become a Dad? fame. This isn’t necessarily music I’d play loud if people are actually within earshot of my cubicle, but Mojo is about as good as a grande latte when the 4 o’clock hypoglycemia kicks in.

The point here is that wisdom comes from some unlikely places. As I’ve maintained, everyone underestimates the visionary capabilities of the IT organization. IT can provide lines of business, executives, board members, and shareholders with original ideas and fresh thinking -- a possibility rarely acknowledged by those outside of IT, who don’t engage often enough.

Okay, you’re thinking: When has IT ever provided the business with guidance? Aren’t they just a service after all?

Inventory management and sell-through in retail. Customer profitability models. Fraud detection. Real-time product recommendations to purchase circles. Heck, the whole ERP thing, and the impact of the customer on the supply chain. They’re just not feasible without IT, and in most cases IT had to educate the business about their long-term value.

In short -- and with a tip of the hat to Mojo Nixon -- IT should be innovative, surprising, and consistently fun. Shouldn’t we all?

About the Author

Jill Dyché is an acknowledged speaker, author, and blogger on the topic of aligning IT with business solutions. As the vice president of SAS Best Practices, she speaks, writes, and blogs about the business value of analytics and information.

Prior to being acquired by SAS in 2011, Jill was a partner and cofounder of Baseline Consulting, where she combined the roles of best practices expert, industry gadfly, key client adviser, and all-around thought leader. At both firms, she has led client strategies and market analysis in the areas of data governance, business intelligence, master data management (MDM), CRM, and big data.

Jill’s first book, e-Data (Addison Wesley), has been published in eight languages. Her book The CRM Handbook (Addison Wesley) is the bestseller on the topic. With Evan Levy, Customer Data Integration (John Wiley and Sons) was the first book on the topic of MDM and discussed managing data as a strategic asset. Jill has contributed to a range of other books and her work has been featured in leading publications including Computerworld, CIO Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune, the Harvard Business Review blog, Forbes.com, and Newsweek.com. Her latest book, The New IT: How Technology Leaders Enable Business Strategy in the Digital Age, profiles executives from companies including Comerica, Brooks Brothers, Mylan Pharmaceuticals, Canadian Tire, Union Bank, Mandalay Resort Group, Men’s Wearhouse, and Toyota Financial Services, highlighting the roles they played in transforming IT and driving strategy.


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