Career Impact: Aligning to the Business

Former Employee

To kick off the month, we talked about the importance of increased strategic alignment between business and IT. The cloud has led to increased IT collaboration with LoB management and an evolving CIO role. This means that you have the opportunity to function as a business strategist, digital leader and cybersecurity expert all in one. Are you poised for this new role?


Mind the business-IT gap


Our research on Office 365 IT pros highlighted a gap for the new CIO: By and large, IT pros in high cloud maturity companies are more focused on technology leadership (60% see security as a priority) than business engagement (41% say “business mindset” is a challenge and only 39% believe that relationships outside IT have contributed to their career success). But a Wall Street Journal report signals the seismic shift and opportunity to partner with the business, as more than half of U.S. companies now pay for technology investments straight from business budgets.


How can you adapt?


Establish yourself as a strategic business partner in a cloud-ready world by bringing clear insights and a point of view on how cybersecurity and cloud tie into long-term business goals. Articulate a cybersecurity strategy with comprehensive defend and respond plan, policy and risk mitigation against potential attacks from cloud-enabled emerging technologies like IoT devices and AI.

Here are a few other things to consider:


  1. Frame the discussion on business strategy, value and outcomes – not solely IT strategy.
  2. Think from your business partners’ perspective. Get to know their business requirements and concerns. How does your plan minimize service disruptions and operational outages, expressed in financial impact to your customers?
  3. Provide counsel to the business. Different conversations help you align across business functions to lead transformation for digital business, so you’re enabling tailored customer engagement experiences with compliance and reduced risk.
  4. Go beyond traditional job skills to combat rising cybercrime. Seek talent with strategic mindset, threat environment knowledge, aptitude to learn, curiosity, creative problem solving, intelligence analysis and business reputation and risk management skills.
  5. Be the consummate communicator. Express your business strategy, engagement model, execution plan and governance approach in plain language across the C suite, LOB and the organization.

What skills are you thinking about developing to accelerate your cloud career? If you are already working closely with the business, let us know how it’s going to understand what’s working and what might be improved.

1 Reply

Business alignment is key to success of digital transformation. One have to be a change agent (irrelevant of their contribution) in the organization to drive adoption of technology to deliver tangible outcomes for business delivering "X"perience for constituents.