Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Who can Make Better, Faster IT Decision?

The perception of being 'better' is just an opinion until pre-defined measures of success are applied to the decision process.


From the variety of industry surveys, more than three fourths of C-level business executives believe they can make technology decisions better and faster than IT staff. What is your response to this? How can CIOs and IT organizations change this perception?


The C-level executives would have answered based on their perception. There is a thin line between perception and reality. Think fast, think slow, due to the complexity of IT, in most of the cases, it takes systematic thinking and governance process in making a better decision regarding the project, budget, talent management, etc. The perception of being 'better' is just an opinion until pre-defined measures of success are applied to the decision process. The point is not about arguing who can make the faster decision, but to understand the reason for the perception and fix the decision support process, in order to not just making faster, but a better decision.

It might be situational, and it depends on organization’s decision intelligence. Some CIOs and IT staffs are better than others in decision-making, the C-level executives are correct in and for some organizations. In organizations where the CIO relies on the technical savvy of an experienced IT staff, the CIOs would need to do a better job of explaining to the C-level executives exactly what value the IT staff is bringing to the table and how that value supports the business. So in situations where the C-level executives think they can make faster tech decisions, it seems to be that the CIO needs to be up to their game, and either better utilize their IT staff (delegation and trust) or become better partners with the C-level executives (or both).

It is a good reminder for IT to review and optimize its decision-making scenario. C-level executives rarely originate the options, instead, they are great at breaking the “over think log jam”. The challenge of IT is getting out of the overly rigid procedures and policies mindset. It hobbles their ability to think and move as fast as their co "C" level colleagues. It is a dynamic digital world with apps built on the fly. The process and policy are still very important to run today’s overly complex IT, however, IT has to be run in a more agile, speedy and flexible way.

The real issue is the quality of communication between business and IT. What are some examples of metrics organizations can use to measure decision success? They largely depend on the project and should be determined by both IT and the business together. The usable and valid metrics are typically collected when there are consistent practices; procedure and policies contribute to consistent decision-making processes. Hence, the real issue is the quality of communication between business and IT.

Every IT decision is the business decision, and the goal is to make timely and effective decisions to benefit the organization for the long run. And, interestingly, it’s IT responsibility to empower C-levels to have the right information at the right time in making better decisions, not for making IT decisions, but for doing their own job and making effective business decisions.  The perception of being 'better' is just an opinion until pre-defined measures of success are applied to the decision process. IT and business shall work as true partners for bringing complementary perspectives to the table and optimize business decision support processes to improve business decision intelligence.


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