Bridging the gap between IT and business teams

Switchboard Apr 21

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    One thing I hear from customers, especially smaller-scale enterprises, is how IT and business teams barely speak to one another. In fact, oftentimes they view one another with suspicion at best. This is unfortunate and unnecessary, but it is real. And this lack of communication could put a huge strain on the overall business.

    IT and business teams should work together

    In reality, IT and business teams need each other. Without IT teams, the business side could not function. And without business driving revenue, there is no need for IT, since the company would not exist.

    Bridging the gap between technical and non-technical teams becomes even more pronounced when the IT team is sitting on the business team’s most valuable asset – data – and is reluctant or too under-resourced to coordinate with them effectively.

    Without access to this data, scaling the business is all-but impossible, because if business teams are making decisions without data, they are just guessing. And a few quarters based on inaccurate or missing data could make the difference between an IPO and a failed enterprise.

    Even when business teams do get access, sometimes the data hasn’t been cleaned, verified, normalized, put into a single format, and made actionable so non-technical teams can ask important questions from it, and get the accurate insight they need.

    Oftentimes, IT teams in smaller enterprises promise that they can normalize the data, but they frequently fail to deliver because doing this across dozens of disparate data sources in a timely manner is difficult. Even so, they fear that if they bring an external solution to help them, they will lose control of their data governance, expose themselves to risk, and possibly threaten their jobs.

    And while IT tries to figure out how to turn this data into something useful, the business side complains that they cannot scale the business because IT is in the way of delivering the data they need. So, how do we bridge the gap between IT and business teams? How do we clear up misunderstandings?

    Communicating the value of data automation

    For better or worse, it’s largely up to the business teams to bridge the gap between business and technology. This means they have to understand the fundamental aspects of data automation and extracting, transforming and loading (ETL). Either that, or they have to make a case for bringing in an outsourced data automation solution. It is their responsibility to explain how data automation is the only viable solution to scaling the business, and illustrate why IT teams should not spend a ton of time and resources on manipulating spreadsheets manually. Data automation will liberate them to get involved in more strategic plans and implementing fresh ideas. And, as the business grows, IT’s budget will grow as well.

    Business teams should further explain that embracing data automation, or finding an outsourced tool, does not mean losing data governance. In fact, every department needs accurate data, and only IT can deliver that to them.

    Thus, it is incumbent upon business teams to do their best to understand the anxieties the IT team is facing.. Implementing or outsourcing data automation will not cost them their jobs. In fact, it will likely allow them to further their careers by going beyond manipulating spreadsheets. It will also not lead to a loss in data governance. It will simply free everyone’s bandwidth while providing accurate, timely, actionable data to business teams which will lead to a more profitable business.

    If you need help unifying your first or second-party data, we can help. Contact us to learn how.

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