A radically different model for the IT and business relationship?

Business Information Managers

Twenty percent of business managers rated the information that they get from IT as poor, according to the Gartner Business Pulse survey conducted from June through August 2009*. “Information management has never been an explicit job role: IT manages the technology, business manages the domain, but who manages the information?” said Ms Logan. “Companies have allowed a huge gap to open up, and consequently, everyone has been the manager of their own information.”

There will be an increasing trend to combine business and information management expertise in a single role, carried out by a single person, rather than a “business and IT partnership” with two people, two hierarchies and two sets of reporting relationships. One company already taking this approach achieved all its objectives including a cost reduction for the department of 10 percent in the first year. Gartner expects 20 percent of companies to employ business information managers by 2013, compared with 5 percent in 2009.

Of the four roles (the other three: Legal and IT Hybrids, Digital Archivists and Enterprise Information Architects) I think this is one of the most important. The role is actually very familiar to me and I’m not sure if its a new role as such, but more of a recognition that IT serves a direct purpose in an organisation.

Its also interesting to think about it in the context of this CIO magazine article, which challenges the typical service orientation of the IT department:

“The alternatives begin with a radically different model of the relationship between IT and the rest of the business — that IT must be integrated into the heart of the enterprise, and everyone in IT must collaborate as a peer with those in the business who need what they do.”

I wonder what impact such a role would have on the adoption of Web 2.0 inside and outside the firewall?

Hat tip to Michael.

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One thought on “A radically different model for the IT and business relationship?

  1. Isn’t this the original role that early intranet managers adopted – bridging that gap between the technology and the business? In early examples these were mainly from the knowledge or information background role that had an understanding of what technology could achieve, but ensured it was the servant, not the master. Over the last few years I agree there has been a growing divide. I am amazed when I speak to ‘intranet managers’ and they have little knowledge of the platform, search etc. Similarly, those with a technology background should have a far greater understanding of the context and purpose of the information they manage. I would suggest these business information managers are actually now also outdated. We should no longer talk about knowledge managers, business info shares, transfer, push, pull etc. The introduction of social media is a good start in creating a greater sharing culture but that should not be an end in itself, nor should well-managed business information. The intranet managers, business information managers of 2013 should be equiped to enable a seeking and discovering culture, putting structures in place, in social, physical and virtul spaces to create greater wisdom to solve problems and create solutions that bring value to their clients

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