IT departments need to ‘engage’ with their businesses, says expert

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Workers could be the competitive edge, according to Accenture CIO Frank Modruson.

IT departments need to engage with their business to help build trust and encourage success, according to one expert panel speaker talking to the Financial Times Connected Business podcast.

As Accenture chief information officer (CIO) Frank Modruson notes, many IT departments are lacking the interpersonal connection with a business’s workers – as well as deep engagement beyond technical support in the field their business specialises in – both of which, if addressed, can help a corporation to succeed.

"The most important thing is engagement," said Mr Modruson. "The willingness and interest to understand and have an impact on the business through technology is the key to success; because then people will dig in, engage, probe deeper and bring their knowledge in the business to the conversation when you’re talking about technology.

"That’s when you get the marriage of technology and the business to drive improvements within the organisation."

In fact, the IT department could be a crucial sector of a business that is looking to expand and succeed in its chosen field.

"IT is a key enabler of reduced friction in the business," said the expert. "[For example], the friction there for us is location, space and time. Technology, particularly video technology, can help us to reduce those forces, taking cost out and adding speed to our ability to respond to our clients much faster than ever before."

And as the expert notes, a fast-moving IT department can be a vital asset both to quick-moving start-ups looking to utilise cloud services for document storage and online backup as well as major corporations looking for that competitive edge.

"The faster you move forward with more successes for the business, the more performance and trust you will get," Mr Modruson said.

"Some IT departments are viewed as the ‘no’ department, but they are behind the times, are struggling to catch up, don’t have the capabilities they need, whatever it is, they are behind. If you’re with the business, moving forward, enabling and delivering what the business wants then you’ll be perceived positively."

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