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The marriage between business and IT

by Sarah Cenedella

September 20, 2010

The marriage between business and IT, just like any "real" marriage, is all about balance, communication, commitment. Neither group can reach their full potential without the other. All-in-all, both parties have the same goal -- to do what's best for this marriage (aka the business) -- and just like traditional marriage there are challenges.

I recently wrote about the evolution of the IT team at Varian Medical Systems, where Tom Rodden, the Director of Enterprise Applications, transformed his SAP IT department from a traditional technical support role to a position where IT is providing greater support for value-generating projects and initiatives.

Rodden isn’t alone. In my research I found several organizations that have recently redefined the role of IT by creating a more strategic union between both sides of the business (including Nobel Ilac, Boston Scientific, Perot Systems, and Amtrak). While this trend of creating a stronger marriage between business and IT results in many benefits to both the IT and business sides, it also comes with its share of challenges and growing pains. Some of these challenges reflect the same struggles faced in any marriage: Communication, getting buy-in, feeling like an equal participant, and so on.

Rodden is familiar with these challenges, and how to overcome them. He will be sharing these lessoons learned, and answering your question, in a live Q&A here on Insider Learning Network this Thursday, September 23 from 12:00 – 1:00 EST. Ask Tom your toughest questions on how he turned his IT team into a powerful enabler of business improvement and how you can apply these practices to your own IT team.

To participate in the live chat and ask Tom your questions, simply join the IT Group on Insider Learning Network, and then come to the IT forum on September 23 at 1:00 ET.

To submit your question in advance, please enter it in a comment below.

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