IT Relationship Managers Drive Business-IT Convergence

Dateline: March 22, 2013

Welcome to our Friday WRAP – one thought-provoking idea to think about over the weekend.

A recent blog by friend and colleague Vaughan Merlyn outlined the current way of thinking about IT relationship managers and their importance in driving business-IT convergence.  Since the shift for IT organizations is away from alignment (where IT continually tries to make sure they are aligning with business objectives) to convergence (where there is a mutual partnership and set of activities), making the business relationship manager role (BRM) even more critical.  In the blog, Vaughan nicely outlines the key competencies needed by a BRM:

  • Drives Value Realization
  • Understands Business Environment
  • Aligns IT with the Business
  • Manages Relationships
  • Manages Organizational Change
  • Manages Projects and Programs
  • Effective Communication
  • Financial Savvy

He then suggests a maturity model for BRMs:

Lowest Level: Ad hoc (no formal relationship manager, and issues are handled as they come in with most demanding business partner getting the attention. There are no consistent measures of success.

Order Taker: IT uses the BRM to fix the supply of IT services, making the BRM’s role one of insuring supply of IT services are what the business asks for.  Measures of success are around satisfaction and service levels of IT services.

Advisor: The BRM is sought out for advice on the right IT for the business opportunity, and makes sure the IT systems are aligned with the business priorities.  Measures of success are around items of value to the business partner.

Strategic Partner: The BRM is seen by the business as a valuable, knowledgeable business partner across all parts of the business’s lifecycle.  Measures of success are around agility, innovation and collaboration.

What do your BRMs look like? Where on the maturity model are your BRMs? Where should they be?

That’s a WRAP!  Have a wonderful weekend.

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