In their research, Gartner analysts Jeffrey Brooks, Heather Colella, and John Roberts found that CIOs believe current approaches to assessing executive satisfaction are missing something, and that IT organizations require a technique that puts the onus on line of business partners to articulate exactly what they need from IT.
Gartner has developed one such technique, which involves understanding the importance of a reciprocal relationship, refining value-added questions for business executives, and initiating the conversation in a way that promotes maximum participation.
According to the Gartner EXP report, The Politics of Powerful Partnerships: “At the heart of a powerful partnership between IT and the rest of the enterprise is reciprocity: the exchange of equivalent advantages or privileges. Without reciprocity, IT cannot move from order taker to powerful partner.”
“Individuals decline to enter into reciprocal arrangements with those they consider significantly different in power and status. CIOs can create powerful partnerships between IT and other departments by systematically building IT’s power and status in key areas to reach equality with business peers.”
One way to do this is through regular satisfaction surveys. By benchmarking IT through four types of satisfaction surveys, Gartner suggested that CIOs will be armed with the information they need to have meaningful conversations with their business colleagues. These types include:
- Measuring satisfaction when a service desk ticket has been closed
- Measuring satisfaction at the end of a project
- Conducting annual IT satisfaction surveys with business users
- Conducting ongoing surveys and conversations with business leaders to get their qualitative opinions about IT
A key role of IT, said the Gartner analysts, is growing line of business technology capabilities. CIOs can do this by creating a few open-ended questions for business colleagues to gain a clearer understanding of what their people expect of IT. As stewards of their organizations, the business colleagues can then interpret that information for the CIOs. Finally, CIOs can work with business colleagues to redefine and rethink how technology enables the enterprise.
Gartner’s thought-starter questions included the following:
- How is your personal success measured, and how well-positioned are you to achieve it?
- How do you leverage technology to drive better business results?
- IT tends to describe what it does in terms of services. What three services do you frequently use?
- If you could divorce IT, what would you look for in a new partner?
- If you were named CIO tomorrow, what would be the first three actions you would take and why?