Do You Work in IT or BT?

It’s a perennial complaint: IT doesn’t understand the business side, and the business side doesn’t understand the value of IT. The two camps exist under the same corporate umbrella, but there’s a lack of connection and cooperation. So what to do?

Well, how about giving IT a new name?

A recent article on CIO.com reports on an executive report in which Forrester CIO George Colony makes a strong case for changing the name of IT to BT, for "Business Technology." Why? "At its core, I define BT as measuring your usage of technology with business metrics instead of technology metrics."

He goes on to say:

Changing the term to BT is also a powerful way for the chief technologist – CIO or CTO – to signal to line-of-business managers and executives and also to the presidents, COO, CEO, and the board of directors that ‘We’re not in the technology business anymore; we’re in the real business – the company’s business.’ I believe by changing the name to BT, and changing its behavior to focus on the business of the business, the technology organization would transform its relationship with the business. I think it would begin to communicate in a different language (the language of business), the current lack of communication would dissipate, and we’d have a higher level of communication around the business problems and the business issues.

Does the switch of single word have the power to make such a sea change happen? Time will tell. Probably quite a bit of time, to be honest.

Don Willmott

Comments

One Response to “Do You Work in IT or BT?”

October 16, 2009 at 11:24 am, Robert Hansen said:

I think that a BT title would be good, but would also confuse the management who are still trying to figure out what we do, besides wanting to spend more money in a down economy.
However, In the trucking company I was the IT Director for, the IT was included as an important part of the leadership team. Their business relied completely on a Domino application and IT was responsible for updating and improving the business by improving the application.
In this case, the IT really was BT.

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