The evolution of the digital economy has highlighted the gap between business user requirements and IT responsiveness. A recent survey conducted by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services reveals the strong business need for application cycles that keep pace with rapid market changes. IT, however, faced with limited time and resources, often struggles to keep up.

This inability of IT to keep up with the speed of business change has strained the relationship between the CIO and line of business managers. This is a big problem. In the digital age, business survival depends on driving innovation through a constructive partnership between IT and business users.

Fortunately, as the research shows, there is interest from business managers in improving working relationships with IT departments. Nearly sixty percent of the business users surveyed would prefer to work more directly with IT staffers.

Business users must get involved with the IT decision-making process, both at the staff and senior management level, to add valuable perspective to purchasing decisions. In turn, IT can help the business side understand the ramifications of IT complexity. This type of collaboration helps IT focus on activities that add business value and find ways to accelerate new application development.

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