How to Increase IT's Value Proposition Within Your Organization

Today, an increasing number of CIOs are reporting directly to the CEO and are being asked to contribute to long-term strategic thinking and planning. Long gone are the days when IT was responsible for managing only IT costs and security. Here, Knowledge Center contributor Ken Vernon discusses how CIOs can use enterprise collaboration software to support its critical leadership competency and increase IT's value proposition within their organizations.

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Nowadays, CIO responsibilities have expanded beyond what was formerly expected of them. Today's CIO has responsibilities that include aligning IT and business goals, delivering on competitive differentiation and developing new go-to-market strategies and technologies. So how does IT management use its unique position to spur business innovation? Let's look at four methods that CIOs can use to increase IT's value proposition within their organization.

Method No. 1: CIOs can drive technology investments that help better align IT and business goals

According to a recent online poll of 500 IT executives, the following represents areas where IT expects to have the most impact over the next year: customer relationships (acquiring, retaining), new-market offerings, user workforce productivity and company operating costs. The number one business goal, regardless of industry or business unit, continues to be sales. In the past, understanding the customer was a burden typically placed on the sales and marketing teams. But that statement is no longer true.

The conclusion that we can draw from this is that enterprise collaboration is vital. In a world where cross-functional team discussion about business processes and customer needs are key, companies with a collaboration platform and strategy in place will have a definite competitive advantage. The 21st-century CIO is expected to not only support employees but also sales, customer service and other interdepartmental teams that focus on the customer.