Tech professionals should develop systems thinking

To promote organisational goals, they should move beyond jargonese and learn to speak the language of business

Technology professionals have a language all their own. But, when it comes to working in the business world, it’s important to shed the tech jargon and understand the language of business.

When IT professionals sit in on meetings or present to senior business leaders, the two groups have to speak a common language to help foster collaboration on critical business needs like return on investment, productivity, profitability and business continuity. Here are five benefits of speaking the language of business.

Driving business innovation

The most valuable technology professionals understand what businesses want to achieve and how technology can help meet those goals.

By understanding the ultimate objective, IT specialists can use technology to reduce complexity for the organisation while enabling better business decisions within IT.

Communicating clearly

Explaining how a piece of technology works by citing its technical specifications is largely irrelevant when talking with business leaders. They’re more interested in what the technology lets them do, and how those new capabilities affect profitability, market share and productivity.

Justifying IT expenditures

Spending on IT can have huge returns in the form of increased business as well as cost savings and productivity gains. To achieve those benefits, however, IT specialists must think in terms of return on investment and both direct and indirect benefits — concepts business leaders understand.

Designing better products

Understanding the business helps IT professionals deliver what their customers really want, improving their solutions and enhancing their reputations.

In certain cases, a full competitor analysis and extensive market research indicated that results were much more business-oriented than technical, and greatly helped in improving product design as well as adjust it to the right buyer personas.

Influencing business decisions

Information technology, increasingly, is a strategic asset — but only if IT professionals think beyond their own core competencies to consider the overall business opportunities of new and existing technologies, including analytics and social media that can grow new markets, improve services and enhance business growth.

For instance, improving sales and marketing efforts involves building a dashboard that details each customer’s lifetime value, cost of acquisition, churn rate, ratio of interest to product purchases and the return on investment for each sales channel.

With this information at a company’s fingertips, decision makers can better evaluate the costs of expanding markets or altering sales channels.

Increasingly, IT professionals need both technology and business skills to remain competitive and to add value to their organisation.

(Ranil Herath is Managing Director — International at DeVry Education Group)

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Printable version | Apr 5, 2020 9:41:35 PM |

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