Princess Beatrice’s Toilet Seat Hat
Imagine the following situation: arriving home after a long day your spouse waits for you in the door and excitedly tells you the news, that he or she purchased the Hat of Princess Beatrice on Ebay. This will be a great investment and a truly useful item for both of you. You politely inquire about the price and find out, that it cost a mere $131K. You quickly look for a chair and sit down to wonder if the strange feeling is an indication of a beginning of a stroke or a heart attack…
Once a CEO said: “I know that at least half of my investment in IT is well spent. My problem is, that I do not know which half”
IT investments often look like a toilet seat hat to your business partners, incredibly expensive and totally useless from their viewpoint.
The question is, how do you bridge the gap? How do you make your investments in IPV6, a new identity store, a major infrastructure upgrade or something similarly obscure without an obvious business value meaningful to your business partners?
Sometimes it is just not possible. Your partners have to trust you that you are doing the right things for them. But before that, you need to earn their trust by listening well, meeting their needs and guiding them through the convoluted and over-hyped world of Information Technologies. Honesty, candor, and respect are qualities that will eventually help you to earn their trust.
Your task is to make your business partners successful by applying Information Technologies while keeping them safe from hype, vaporware, bleeding edge blunders and unnecessary complexity.
When you arrive at your office on Monday, create a list of your key business partners and rate your standing with them. Here are the Gartner categories and numbers to help:
Once you placed yourself on the chart, go to your business partners and validate that your perception is correct. Let them know that you and your organization strive to become their trusted partner and set up a plan to achieve that.