Consider ways to increase learning about other areas of the business. Assigning mentors from other departments or encouraging employees to shadow colleagues in different business groups for a day can broaden understanding of issues affecting the firm.
Formal training also can be beneficial. Many courses are available today through associations and business schools that are customized for IT professionals and focus on topics such as leadership, strategic planning and communication. To encourage enrollment, offer reimbursement for these programs and provide the necessary time off to complete the classes.
On a smaller scale, make sure employees have access to industry publications and business journals, so they are on top of trends that may affect your company. Also, promote websites to staff that cover the issues you feel are paramount to the organization and its success.
Your efforts to align IT with the business depend on having employees who are both technology gurus and business gurus. With these talents in place, youll find that your team is better able to coordinate projects, assess risks, determine budgets, apply technology and manage vendor relationships. Not only will your department be more efficient, but it will have enhanced its value to the entire organization.
Katherine Spencer Lee is executive director of Robert Half Technology, a leading provider of IT professionals on a project and full-time basis. Robert Half Technology has more than 100 locations in North America, South America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region and offers online job search services at www.rht.com.