Breaking Down the IT Language Barrier - Parlez-vous IT?

Published by Daniel Eycken
January 31, 2024 @ 9:29 AM

The language barrier between IT and business is an age-old tale. The problem typically manifests in boardrooms and project meetings, where the objectives and priorities of IT and business leaders seem to be worlds apart. On one side, IT experts, equipped with technical jargon and a deep understanding of systems and processes, focus on the technical feasibility and security of solutions. On the other, business leaders, armed with market insights and strategic visions, speak in terms of Return on Investment (ROI), customer engagement, and market trends.

When IT presents a solution, the CFO wants to see numbers and financial forecasts, not technical specifications. Similarly, the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) looks at IT through the lens of innovation and market competitiveness. For the CCO, technology is a tool to enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty rather than a mere business enabler.

The solution to this conundrum lies in developing a common language that bridges the gap between IT and business. Both need to develop a basic understanding of each other's domains. Technical jargon should be minimised, and efforts should be made to present information in a way that resonates with the audience's interests and knowledge level. IT and business leaders should jointly develop strategies, ensuring that IT solutions are aligned with business goals and that business plans are technologically feasible. Emphasising common objectives, such as customer satisfaction, operational efficiency, and market growth, can help align IT and business perspectives.

The dilemma is not just about language; it is about understanding and respecting the different but equally vital perspectives each department brings to the table. Bridging this gap is not just a matter of improved communication; it's about fostering a culture where IT and business collaboratively innovate, strategise, and lead the company towards shared success.

Only when IT and business leaders start to speak the same language, or at least understand each other, can a company truly harness the full potential of its resources and navigate the competitive business landscape with agility and foresight.

In the end, "Parlez-vous IT?" is not just a question; it's a call to action for businesses and IT to embark on a journey of mutual understanding, collaboration, and innovation that transcends traditional boundaries. At CIONET, we hear this appeal and aim to facilitate this journey. Let me invite you to the next CIOFEST, the community event where we will explore solutions for these communication challenges, starting with listening and learning from each other.  


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