Turning Trust Into Value: Enabling Innovation

By Johna Till Johnson
On Feb 05, 2014
Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Last post, I wrote about the need for IT to become an “enterprise trusted advisor”—that is, to move up the trust spectrum with business, so that business leaders consult IT leaders as part of setting strategy. That said, becoming a trusted advisor isn’t a necessary goal in and of itself. Sure, it feels great to have the higher-ups consult your opinion on matters strategic—but does it really add value to the business, or to your role as an IT professional? Yes, and uniquely so. What do I mean by that? Sure, there are plenty of smart people all across the business—in sales, marketing, HR, legal, etc.—and a smart business strategist consults everybody. But IT brings a unique perspective that no other role in the business can: Insight into the impact of technology. These days, technology is all-pervasive. It’s no longer “information technology”—confined to back-office and front-office applications. It’s “enterprise technology”. Computers and communications systems are going everywhere: In the field, on people’s bodies, embedded into shipping platforms, and so on. Pretty much any strategy has a technology component. More specifically, IT is uniquely responsible for harnessing disruptive forces. Technology is by its nature innovative—and IT’s particular role is to leverage that innovation to make a business more successful. Thus, if there’s anyone who understands how to exploit innovation on a regular basis, it’s IT. Which brings us back to the trusted advisor role. Once IT has earned the trust of business professionals, we’re empowered to drive value by helping the business intelligently adopt innovation. In other words, there’s a virtuous cycle here: IT earns the trust of business, and uses that trust to deliver a value-add in the form of innovative technologies that help increase productivity, better engage customers, drive revenue, reduce goals, and generally meet strategic goals. And as a result of delivering that value, IT continues to deepen its role as trusted advisor—a win-win for business and technology professionals alike.

Trust/innovation Cycle

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