Of course, this is compounded by the fact I work in the IT industry and am reminded on a daily basis how much I don’t know. I mean, I still use a G3 iPhone. GASP! I know, I know… but I’m in marketing, so it’s not like I’m in the IT trenches designing networks…
Despite my own IT limitations, being in the IT industry for almost eight years has desensitized me to just how foreign the topic is for most people. It’s certainly not uncommon to see business executives delegate even the slightest hint of tech talk to their IT department.
For example, a hypothetical conversation:
ME: “What is the business outcome you’re looking for with this technology?”
EXECUTIVE: “You’ll have to ask my IT manager.”
ME: “Is your IT manager responsible for business outcomes?”
EXECUTIVE: “No, that is my responsibility.”
So when I had the chance to sit down with a bank president, I was careful to listen when he shared his thoughts on his IT systems. Note the way the responses are framed; around the business drivers of the organization. In this particular case, it was customer service.
Question and Answer with a bank president:
Q. Will you describe the limitations of your old phone system?
A. We were far more limited in our abilities to deliver service and that’s the number one driver for our bank.
Q. How is that different than what you have now?
A. We have a call center that’s very, very important to our customer service driven initiatives and with the call center set up the way it is… we’ve been able to monitor calls, determine how many are coming in, how many are being dropped, where they’re going and how well we’re doing in taking care of our customers.
Q. Why did you consider managed services?
A. The fact that we’ve been able to budget and manage our financial resources as a result.
Q. What is the mission of your bank?
A. Our mission… is to make sure we deliver the most outstanding, the term we use is, premier customer service… When our technology problems are minimal and we can look to the future about what our needs are going to be that will enable us to deliver that premier customer service, it’s wonderful to have a relationship with [trusted IT partner].
No mention of VoIP. No mention of servers, routers, switches. No mention of bandwidth.
Just business outcomes. Predictable budgeting. Minimal IT issues. To provide premier customer service.
That’s what bank presidents think of IT.
Image (cc) Cicero Group via Flickr