Delivering Business Value with IT at Hefty Hardware Shortcomings of business and IT:                        Hearing “ITis a pain in the neck” from a VP of an established company is usually a sign ofdysfunctional organization.

Based on the text, it is evident that there is ahuge gap between the IT department and the business community of HeftyHardware. Today, the management team knows the root of most issues in anorganization draws down to the people within the company rather than thecompany itself. The value of an organization is compromised of the people,technology, and information; so it is wrong to blame IT for everything.

             The relationshipbetween IT and business in this mini case is quite toxic because each sidethinks the other side does not understand their problems and requirements are.The business side feels the money they’re investing in IT doesn’t give a realvalue in return. They think the IT is in their own world where they don’tunderstand what the business is trying to do. Cheryl, the VP of retailmarketing and Glen, the COO, agree with each other that IT people do notunderstand the basic business process of the organization. In order toalleviate the issue, the two higher-level managers think it is theirresponsibility to take the IT team onto the field to make them understand theday-to-day operations at all the Hefty stores. However, the IT folks have acompletely different point of view on this matter.

The CIO, Farzad and thechief architect, Sergei disagree with going onto the field believing it’s anonsense idea that brings no value, calling it “boondoggle.”             The twohead IT managers are more focused on planning a strategic IT architecture forSavvy Store program rather than the on field training. They would much rathersend their subordinates on the trip after the planning and budget cycle are alldone, but little do they know that sending IT people after the planning createsa much larger problem.

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  According toSDLC, it is much more feasible to change plans earlier in the developmentrather than later to avoid more expenses and headaches. There is no doubt thatthe IT department couldn’t communicate effectively with the business and madethem reject the ideas that were actually worth giving a shot.              Anothercause for the gap in the partnership between the two departments is the lack oftrust and support. The IT people feel that they don’t get enough support fromthe business to ensure that their value is recognized in the organization. “Anew CEO would come in, and the next thing you knew the CIO would be history,”is an example of lack of support between the two departments. It seems as ifthe organization’s only way to “fix” an IT problem is to point fingers at theIT people and fire the CIO, which is a disastrous route to failure of anorganization as a whole. Plan for business and IT collaboration:                        In order tohave a successful running business, it is extremely important to understand thevalue of the organization as a whole. The value is determined by applyingpeople, technology, and information more efficiently toward shared goal(s).

Bothdepartments are right in their own perspective, but wrong in the bigger pictureof the organization. They need to work on their shortcomings together as a teamin order to successfully implement the Savvy Store initiative. Instead ofpointing fingers at each other, they need to incorporate “we/us” orientedefforts to find a better solution to existing and future problems.              From thebusiness perspective, they need to really engage more with the IT departmentand express what they really want from IT. They also need to share the value ofIT to the business model so that it makes much more sense for the IT tounderstand what is expected of them, and where does their work fit in the wholepicture. Regardless of which department or project, everyone is human andfeeling good about the work they put into always radiates positivity, whichleads to a healthier organization.

In other words, everyone likes to berecognized for his/her hard work, and no one likes to feel left out.              Also, it iscrucial to have the right people to be involved in the organization that hasboth technical and business skills. The business should seek more commitment toprojects in IT, which would increase overall efficiency of the process. Fromthe IT perspective, they need to gain more understanding on business and itsfunctions. IT department needs more knowledge of the overall organizationalgoals, business requirements, and objectives. More importantly, the IT staffneeds to put a lot more effort on communication since that is probably thebiggest root of all problems between the two departments.              Furthermore,it is always necessary to keep the organization running professionally. Itseems as if Hefty Hardware lacks a governance structure to manage the overallstrategies and promote the interdependencies between business and IT.

Lastly,the two departments must trust each other and be clear at their expectationsand accountabilities in order to have a successful running business.