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Why playing tennis with the CEO may secure your future

Byron Connolly | July 22, 2015
IT must align with the business and develop human relationships with leaders, or face being left behind.

Panel speakers at the CIO Summit discuss how IT aligns with overall business strategy
Panel speakers at the CIO Summit discuss how IT aligns with overall business strategy

Organisations are under immense pressure to drive change to meet customer demand and stay ahead of the competition. To achieve this innovation nirvana, it's crucial that IT groups move from being reactive cost centres to proactive providers of business solutions.

Panellists at the CIO Summit in Sydney discussed how IT aligns with overall business strategy, works and communicates with c-level execs, and serves as a measuring tool to help organisations rate IT's overall performance.

Darren Warner, regional director, infrastructure and operations at commercial real estate services firm, CBRE Asia Pacific, said at the simplest level IT sends a survey to users after the completion of every 10 tickets asking users to rate the team's performance.

"On a wider scale, we are looking at return on investment, speed of delivery so it's a combination of those factors," he said.

Warner agrees that performance ratings can be somewhat of a double-edged sword', as staff will rate IT highly when things are going well but poorly as soon as there are application and network issues.

"You probably get one positive piece of feedback for every 100 things that you do if you are lucky. People are always quick to tell you when you are wrong," he said.

Women's clothing retailer, Lorna Jane recently set up a web-based service management portal that has provided discipline that the organisation hasn't had in the past, said John Hagley, executive, retail innovation.

"We are starting to log tickets properly and assign them to the right people. So what we are doing is sending those tickets out and at the end when you resolve [an issue], there's a survey.

"We put in a 10-point survey, a net promoter thing it didn't get a huge uptake because people sort of looked at that and went nope, too complicated, I don't want to worry about it'."

To overcome this, IT simply added 'happy, mediocre and unhappy faces' to make it easier for staff to rate performance.

"As soon as we get one [an unhappy or mediocre face] ... we pick up the phone and we walk around and ask [the user], what's the issue?'

"That's worked very well for us, we get a lot of feedback on those types of things and funnily enough, that's actually driven adoption of the portal as well," Hagley said.

Human to human discussions

Logicalis Australia CEO, Basil Reilly, added that although Hagley is surveying customers and ensuring they are happy, what will secure his future the most is the fact that he plays tennis with the CEO.


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