INSIGHT: Why NZ business and IT need a common language

In New Zealand, there is always some tension between the IT team and the rest of the business.

This lack of common understanding can create a perception gap that can lead to a lack of trust in the CIO and the IT team.

How to get a common language

To get a shared understanding of business and technology needs, you need to create a common language that everyone can understand.

A workshop session to create a Digital Roadmap is a good way to start, to create a visual representation of your current technology landscape with a group of stakeholders from throughout the business.

It's important that the model used is understood by everyone; the brain thinks in pictures so this approach is the quickest way to get on the same page.

This is a chance for the CIO and IT team to learn about what makes the rest of the business tick in some detail - business unit goals, pain points and personal KPIs. This information is vital to shape the business technology strategy.

Non-technical business stakeholders will learn more about the technology they are increasingly reliant on. Not the nuts-and-bolts, but how to get the most out of it, what is possible now and also what technology trends will impact them in the future.

A Digital Roadmap can then set out your direction for the future - and describe what the transformation will achieve in business terms.

With understanding it's a better journey

If I had spent more time learning a few Burmese phrases and location names, we would have had a common language and I wouldn't have had to rely so much on pointing and maps.

With the language barrier lowered, the driver may have been interested in learning how Google Maps worked. If I had zoomed out and showed key locations on the map, he may have gained perspective and got a point of reference.

This would probably have made him more comfortable with following directions from my phone - but also using his local knowledge when that was better.

We had the combination of his local knowledge and my technology to make the journey easier. We just needed to understand each other better first.

By David Reiss - Business technology specialist, Spark Digital

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