Today’s CFOs face an important strategic choice: namely, whether or not to work strategically with IT leadership. In the past, IT managed services had as little to do with overall company strategy as any other piece of equipment. Those who worked in IT were seen mainly as technicians. You wouldn’t ask a copy machine technician for advice on how to move a company forward, nor would you ask an IT employee for strategic business counsel – at least not 10 years ago.
However, as corporate digital technologies have evolved by leaps and bounds, IT has grown in importance. Today, it is about much more than just managing hardware. It’s also about finding the best combination of consumer and business technical solutions for any number of conundrums. It’s about how customers, employees and leadership can all be interconnected. And this is only the tip of the iceberg as far as the modern IT environment is concerned.
Therefore, IT consultants have been encouraging company leaders to bring IT leadership into the boardroom and to include information technology in major strategic decisions. We are entering a post-digital world in which IT is embedded into nearly every business transaction, where company leaders will need IT consultants’ advice on how to best navigate vendor contracts, employee training, data security and Bring You Own Device (BYOD) issues.
FedEx is one company that understands the stakes behind this choice. As recently covered by the Financial Times, FedEx executive Fred Smith recognized that strong IT managed services were a crucial part of the company’s mission to continually improve logistics. Smith “forced strategic partnerships with a series of IT leaders in his company,” according to the Financial Times. This approach put digital innovation where it belongs – in a central role of importance. If you follow Smith’s example in working strategically with IT, you’re likely to enjoy faster adoption of systems for collaboration, cloud storage, mobile data access and analytics. These and other IT tools in the post-digital era are at the heart of long-term enterprise success.
By collaborating with IT leadership, CEOs and CFOs can achieve several benefits:
- Faster resolution of IT problems.
- Consistency between big-picture, company-wide goals and day-to-day creation of digital systems.
- The adoption of performance-improving IT, such as mobile content delivery, location-based tracking services and more.
- Ability to quickly transcend financial red tape, since CFOs and CEOs are involved.
The most forward-leaning firms are combining mobile technology with location tagging and collaboration tools, so data from suppliers, employees, customers and others can be quickly shared, analyzed and put to good use. In today’s business climate, you need not be the “most forward-leaning” to benefit from these services, and you can gain access to the intelligence, proven technology and expertise of local IT consultants. If you’d like to join those businesses that are thriving in the post-digital world – and avoid being eclipsed by your peers – remember that IT consultants can be invaluable allies in the fight to transform your IT managed services into a collaborative, bottom-line-boosting part of your business.