Time to End the Tug of War Between IT and Business

Time to End the Tug of War Between IT and Business

Posted on July 26, 2016 0 Comments
Time to End the Tug of War Between IT and Business_870x220

What does Digital Transformation really mean? In post seven of our series, learn the value of aligning IT and business users, and how you can do it.

The phrase, “tug of war” is as old as time, going back to ancient Egypt, Greece and China. But it certainly has relevance today in the context of the push and pull between IT and business. With IT concerned with risk and security, and business users with fueling revenue, a natural “tug of war” between the two has been the norm. However, to get through these times of digital disruption, this game of tug of war must come to an end—once and for all.

The Threat of Shadow IT

There’s no stopping the growing empowerment of business technology use. And that’s a hard pill for IT to swallow. In their quest to meet revenue goals, if business users today don’t like the product IT puts out, they create a solution of their own—it’s that simple. These “Shadow IT” initiatives can end badly as IT tries to reassert control. It’s a tug of war no one wins—IT wastes valuable time and energy on these renegade solutions instead of focusing on projects that bring true value to the business; and business users strengthen their resolve to bring in tools they feel are critical to meeting their goals.

Tips to Create a Win-Win Situation

While each organization holds very different metrics, their efforts can be coordinated to achieve a positive outcome. As digital transformation initiatives sweep across organizations large and small, getting IT and business users on the same page has never been more critical.

Take these steps to foster business/IT collaboration:

  • Bring business and IT together early in the digital transformation process.
  • Evolve IT value beyond tactical execution to being strategic business contributors/partners.
  • Facilitate collaboration by embracing solutions that enable business analysts to participate in the development process.
  • Share responsibilities for data and insight because both are needed. While IT owns the infrastructure and integration, business and IT should work together to understand data and turn it into business insight.
  • Empower self-service for low value tech activities, freeing IT for more strategic and complex tasks.


With 77% of decision makers saying their IT and marketing teams could be better aligned to deliver on digital transformation efforts, IT and business teams must look beyond their traditional roles and co-lead this effort. Read more about how to promote business/IT collaboration in, The Digital Ultimatum: Why Businesses Must Digitally Transform to Survive—and Thrive.

Read: The Digital Ultimatum


Mark Troester

Mark Troester is the Vice President of Strategy at Progress. He guides the strategic go-to-market efforts for the Progress cognitive-first strategy. Mark has extensive experience in bringing application development and big data products to market. Previously, he led product marketing efforts at Sonatype, SAS and Progress DataDirect. Before these positions, Mark worked as a developer and developer manager for start-ups and enterprises alike. You can find him on LinkedIn or @mtroester on Twitter.


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