Software // Enterprise Applications
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10/30/2003
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SmartAdvice: Strategic Value, Employee Retention

Here's what The Advisory Council recommends you look at in three key areas of business technology: proving IT's strategic value; what to do about SCO's lawsuit involving Linux; and IT employee retention

3. Shoot as high in the C-suite as you can in gaining champions.
The active blessing of your company's heads and those of the businesses is crucial in loosening purse strings and adjusting priorities. Build relationships with those who have the power to make a difference, relationships in which you come to be viewed as a trusted strategic business adviser.

One way to do this is by creating and leading a technology-review committee that includes your CEO and the heads of the business units. This way, the importance of alignment between the business and its technology is always a topic under discussion.


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By becoming part of this business team, you'll soon establish yourself and your organization as a valued strategic contributor. In addition, it will give you a much broader personal perspective as a manager. Your peers will begin to view you as a business leader and adviser rather than just an IT technician.

4. Build a strategic model that cascades down to the business units.
Explain to the units what this means to them in a way that relates to their day-to-day jobs and fires their imagination. If you can do this, the business managers will help make sure your initiatives are funded, as they understand the benefits and have skin in the game. Whatever you eventually decide to do, you'll feel confident it's something that your management peers will support and defend.

5. Implement a system to measure and publish your successes.
Once you have something impressive on your scorecard, get it out in front of the rest of the organization. If you're shy or modest, you may feel this is self-serving, but people aren't clairvoyant and they'll never appreciate your department's accomplishments if they don't know what they are. Finally, your organization will now have hard, quantifiable evidence of its business value, along with a positive personal perception.

At this point, answering your manager's concern will be a piece of cake.

-- Alan Guibord

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