Bridging the Gap

By Deborah Rothberg  |  Posted 2006-07-20 Print this article Print

Bridging the Gap Pfleging and Zetlin suggest several ways that companies can work to lessen the business-technology divide.
One is job exchanges, where techies and business people try to do the others job for a day.
"This tends to be harder for the business guys. IT guys can go to a business meeting and chime in, but the business guys wont know how to fix a broken connection," said Pfleging. Companies can also physically organize the office culture so that the groups regularly encounter each other. "Companies often create a situation where the tech guys dont interact with the rest of the company, cultivating it by putting IT in a basement or a back room. Its one of the worst things you can do," said Zetlin. Pfleging and Zetlin also recommend cross-functional work teams on any project. "Its very important for any company to make sure you have a cross-section of various people to make sure you dont miss out on some very good advice. A lot of companies have a business meeting first and then throw work out to the techies," said Zetlin. Finally, the authors feel strongly that as IT workers now understand the importance of honing their business skills, its in the business guys best interest to understand more about technology. "Theres an enormous frustration about how little business people know about technology. Its very easy for a business person to say, I dont want to know, but technology really doesnt work that way. You need to know just enough that you can scare them," said Pfleging. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis on IT management from


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