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According to CIO.com’s 2016 State of the CIO Report, today’s IT leaders find themselves having to balance functional efficiency, security and digital transformation within your company. All three of those elements relate to the second goal in our three-part series on IT goals: maintaining company-wide cohesion.

When you face a broad range of tactical challenges, including maintaining security, managing tech migrations, keeping control of your device fleet and working with managed print partners (oh wait—that last one isn’t a challenge) it can be daunting to think about how you can also be a strategic partner to other departments in your company. However, there are a few things to do that can make cohesion come a bit more naturally.

Define “digital transformation” to assess your current situation

You want it. Your CEO wants it. But what does “digital transformation” actually mean to your business and your counterparts in the C-Suite?

Digital transformation is the application of digital technologies to fundamentally impact all aspects of business. In order to actually transform business, you need to understand which technologies matter for each department and how adaptable to transformation they are. Has the marketing department been using the same platform for years, and does that platform integrate with the sales CRM? Does revenue information from that CRM then transfer naturally to the accounting department?

When you take stock of the current state of hardware and software across departments, you’re able to gauge how receptive each department will be to digital transformation. You’ll also be able to identify key weaknesses in each department’s processes, and understand where a lack of cohesion between departments leads to confusion and inefficiency. Then, you’ll be able to present an IT solution that’s backed up by significant research.

Close the communications gap

What do you think about your CFO? Be honest: are you frustrated and confused by their constant focus on the bottom line and their unwillingness to understand the technologies you care about?

You already know that everyone in the C-Suite has their own priorities, and (just like the CFO) may have different ideas on what’s important. But it’s essential that you take time to discuss with your counterparts what their goals are, what they’re most interested in and how the IT department will be affected by that (or how you can help!)

Schedule quarterly meetings with the rest of the C-Suite to discuss their priorities and learn more about what they’re doing. Identify differences between your management styles and business strategies: are you more oriented on the big picture than the CFO, but more risk-averse than the CMO? Understanding those dynamics can help you make sense of what your colleagues want to achieve and how you can help them find an IT solution that works with their priorities.

Are you looking for a way to safeguard your IT department’s security? Check out our free, on-demand webinar: When Printers Turn Against You: How to End Your Printer’s Double Agent Status.

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Photo credit: WOCinTech Chat via Flickr Creative Commons

IT Strategy