Measuring IT’s Relationship with the Business for Improvement

Opportunity

Opportunity

A household-name manufacturer was dealing with a significant downturn in the market that led to major layoffs, including the release of half of its IT workforce. It brought in ISG to analyze the remaining workforce’s experience and better understand how to improve the relationship between IT and the other business units.

ISG used a combination of surveys, interviews, benchmarks and other tools to learn more about the company’s challenges and opportunities. Clear findings across multiple areas helped leaders identify where to adjust for the most benefit. The results led to expansion of a three-year program with ISG for workforce and shared-services assessments into still-ongoing, annual relationship management work with ISG.

Imagining IT Differently

Imagining IT Differently

The relationship between the manufacturer’s IT department and other units was complicated. During the layoffs, some of the IT functions were moved out to the business units to run their own application stacks. Alignment between IT and the business got more complex, and, apart from meetings between leaders, communication was largely absent.

Comprehensive surveys, interviews and reports across multiple areas proved trends and issues in the business. Benchmarking actually showed good IT results, helping demonstrate the value of the remaining employees’ work. ISG helped put in place a regular, structured governance so the manufacturer wasn’t waiting for annual planning meetings to strategize. We also helped reestablish an IT council. Now, both IT and the business units receive consistent feedback, and all three major areas come together for IT strategy.

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Future Made Possible

  • Collaboration between IT and the business units dramatically improved. People have moved from firefighting to strategic management.
  • Certain functions have been centralized and new program and project management protocols and communication channels built. Where the business once felt “like they were engaging with 30-40 different IT organizations,” there is now clarity and cohesion.
  • About 50 percent of the actions recommended for improving the workforce experience will be implemented by the end of 2022. The more substantial actions for reinvigorating the relationship are also in progress.
  • The manufacturer has scheduled ongoing workforce and shared-services assessments with ISG to continue the good work.