IT enjoys an unwelcome reputation for working behind closed doors. Even when the tech team comes up with a great solution to a problem, IT people often fail to communicate potential benefits in terms the business can easily understand.
In a collaborative age, where engagement inside and outside the business is a given, IT leaders have to work harder to develop top communications skills. I recently spoke to some IT experts and produced five top tips for silicon.com on smarter engagement.
1. Employ a communications specialist in the IT department - Matt Peers, CIO of consultants Deloitte, is part of the new, younger generation of IT leaders. He has recently taken over technology stewardship at the company, bringing with him more than a decade of customer-facing experience from high-street retailer Carphone Warehouse.
Strong engagement with all interested parties is the absolute crux of the matter for Peers. “I base all my leadership on good communications,” he says. “Engagement is the key component for successful IT.”
Since joining Deloitte, Peers has helped work towards the recruitment of an internal communications specialist for the IT department. This specialist will analyse IT strategy and help define in simple terms how line-of-business executives can benefit from the good work of the technology team.
“It helps you concentrate on the type of message that you are really trying to get across to the rest of the organisation,” he says. “Having a head of internal communications for IT is not about technology but about demonstrating the capabilities we can provide to users across the business.”
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