"When I talk about the types of partnership that business units want, I think you see the same feeling from the IT function," Robinson says. "The two groups have come to a place where they recognize there is going to be a path forward for everyone. We see from the business units that they need the expertise from IT. We see from IT that they feel a level of comfort from knowing that their expertise is essential."
That's not to say that business units and the IT function suddenly have the perfect relationship, but it may be better than many people think. CompTIA found that only about half of the business units surveyed agreed that there is a good relationship between the IT function and business units. While that number may seem low, Robinson points out that it was the top response chosen and was much more popular than more negative statements.
Only 18 percent of respondents agreed with statements like: "It can be difficult explaining business problems to the IT function," or "The IT function has a tendency to slow things down." Other views included:
- 52 percent: "There is a good relationship between the IT function and all business units."
- 44 percent: "The IT function plays a critical support role in our organization."
- 40 percent: "The IT function plays a critical strategic role in our organization."
- 32 percent: "The IT function drives our vision for technology."
Robinson suggests it is likely that the 18 percent of respondents that agreed with the negative statements were the ones with negative feelings, while the gap between that segment and the positive statement segment are simply neutral.
That said, they were more likely to see the IT function as a tactical organization rather than a strategic one, although this perception varied widely based on company size. Small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) were most likely to see IT as tactical. Among large businesses, 48 percent of respondents viewed the IT function as strategic rather than as support/tactical (43 percent).
To varying degrees, company segments in businesses of all sizes agreed IT could take the following actions to become more strategic:
- Become more familiar with business goals: 41 percent of large businesses, 42 percent of mid-sized businesses and 58 percent of small businesses.
- Use data more effectively: 46 percent of large businesses, 58 percent of mid-sized businesses and 35 percent of small businesses.
- Develop metrics to measure collaboration: 59 percent of large businesses, 51 percent of mid-sized businesses and 22 percent of small businesses.
- Educate the organization: 41 percent of large businesses, 30 percent of mid-sized businesses and 39 percent of small businesses.
CompTIA's report was based on online surveys of 650 businesses and technology professionals at companies in the U.S. The surveys were conducted in April and May 2015 and were augmented by in-depth interviews with 14 technology and business professionals.
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