As the enterprise world continues to move from multiple store locations to multiple clouds, the call for IT leadership and application owners to work more closely with business owners has become critical. After all, at a digital-first enterprise, those responsible for building and maintaining the digital part of the company need to be involved in strategies for driving business success. And in turn, business leaders need to be involved when application strategies are created.
Naturally, the realization of these two powerhouses meshing perfectly like the cogs of a machine has been slow to come. One of the major stumbling blocks is a general language barrier.
The Gartner report, Business Outcomes Are the Milestones on an Application Strategy Roadmap, now available for download, describes it this way: “Application leaders struggle to communicate with business leaders about application strategies because they talk about them in terms of arcane application acronyms and technology implementations.”
Gartner goes on to explain that the disconnect, unfortunately, is even more complicated than just the words we use. There’s a gap in understanding by application leaders on how their implementation impacts the business.
“Application leaders don’t understand how the various IT requests relate to the business strategy.” They also “can’t define in a business sense what capabilities need to be delivered.”
Success is hard to find when there’s not even a mutually-understood definition of success.
And the issues continue even if an IT initiative does get implemented. As Gartner puts it, “Application leaders don’t have measurable performance goals of the capabilities being delivered to determine if the effort was a success.”
And when IT can’t show success, it puts a lot on the line, including funding for future initiatives.
It’s On Us
According to Gartner, to solve the issue, application leaders need to adopt and fully understand new, business-centric metrics. We believe that will get business leaders nodding with familiarity and excitement. Gartner calls these essential metrics business outcomes —a specific and measurable target action that is taken in response to a business direction or disruption. Simply put, the business benefits that will result from a particular IT initiative. These business-centric leading indicators can come in the form of cost-benefits, increased revenue, or improvements in customer experience. The bottom line is pretty much the bottom line. But it can’t stop there. Application leaders need to then be able to prove that the desired outcome was (or was not) attained using these same business outcomes.
For more insights on how IT and business leaders can improve collaboration and communication, download the Gartner report now.
Business Outcomes Are the Milestones on an Application Strategy Roadmap is available for download now, and gives clear steps, strategies, and examples to get you on your way to a more productive collaboration with business leaders.
Gartner Business Outcomes Are the Milestones on an Application Strategy Roadmap, Bill Swanton, 7 February 2017.