Optimizing the Communication between Business Units Employees and IT-Personnel


Academic Paper, 2015
14 Pages, Grade: 1,7

Excerpt

Table of Contents

List of Figures

1 Introduction
1.1 General approach
1.2 Objective and structure

2 Causes of difficult relationships
2.1 General
2.2 Historical View
2.3 Characteristics and behaviour of the participants
2.4 Personal feelings and fears

3 Ways to optimize communication
3.1 Factors for the interaction between Business Units Employees and IT Personnel
3.2 Regular personal exchange between the participants
3.3 Define fixed point of contact
3.4 Creation of transparency
3.5 Showing IT’s value

4 Conclusion and Outlook

References

List of Figures

Figure 1: Uncertainty Avoidance Index comparison, Germany and US

Figure 2: Satisfaction of the Business Units with the performance of the IT Department

1 Introduction

1.1 General approach

In a company, there are generally different areas of responsibility and fields of work with their staff. A company is forced to operate successfully in order to save jobs and to invest for future growth. To achieve these objectives, all departments must work together. A key role is played by the Business Units Employees and the IT-Personnel. In particular, the relationship between business and IT unit is special.

Due to the advanced digitizing the Business Units have to rely on specific software and hardware applications which cannot be operated independently. In large corporations, this approach is taken more often than in small companies.

This means that both standardized enterprise-wide software and hardware is distributed and supported by a central IT department within the company1.

Due to the not always successful and soon implementation of new requirements, the departments invests up to 45.5% of the managed budgets into “Shadow-IT”2 and decreased the investments in the regular IT department by 3% in 2014 after 19% in 2013 from the total budget3. The decrease of these investments is critically seen by the IT because they fear negative consequences for the standardization and automation of IT as well as building a shadow IT and new data silos. The Business Units employees are thus in a state of dependence and feel restricted in forcing innovations to keep up with the competition.

The bad harmony means that the companies concerned have on average a 13% higher spending than the competition. At the same time they report a 14% lower revenue growth4.

1.2 Objective and structure

The aim of this Term Paper is to show ways of how the communication between the two different cultures, IT-Personnel and Business Units employees, can be optimized. To do so, the thesis is structured in 5 chapters.

Chapter one gives an overview over the general situation and the growing importance of smooth communication between Business Unit and IT Department.

The next chapter deals with the causes of the special relationship between the two departments and gives a review of historical events likely to have an impact on behaviour.

The third examines ways to improve intercultural communication to overcome the hurdles and thus enable an efficient cooperation.

Chapter four rounds up this Term Paper, shows the results in a summarised form and gives an outlook for future applications.

2 Causes of difficult relationships

2.1 General

Among the most common areas of disagreement include the different language and the lack of knowledge about the problems of the other party5. This term paper has its focus on intercultural communication, not the normative linguistic communication.

2.2 Historical View

Man is a historical growth, fighting with his behavior from prehistoric times. The elementary human behavior is a cultural predisposition and cannot be changed through education. These include the territorial behavior, the striving for property and the instinct to survive. When a cutthroat competition takes place, each group tries to enforce their own interests.

2.3 Characteristics and behaviour of the participants

The typical computer scientist is characterized by an unusually high degree of pragmatism and introversion6. In addition, computer scientists are certain characteristics such as high degree of abstraction, logical thinking ability and precisely descriptions ascribed7.

In the Business Units the topic of IT encounters little interest through to disgust. They are often overwhelmed with information such as new developments in IT. This in turn frustrates the CIOs8.

Both parties have in common, that everyone wants to be solely responsible for his area of work and take decisions9. The units would also be involved in decisions that affect their own area of work.

There are differences in the goals of the parties. While the Business Units have good comprehensibility and ease of use for the employees in focus, to the IT department a formal correctness is important10.

Thus, Business Units employees do not want to admit growing business process knowledge of IT professionals11. This is due to the fact that one’s work thus no longer appears unique and valuable because it can be done by others as well.

2.4 Personal feelings and fears

Fears on both sides lead to misunderstanding and mistrust. Business units’ employees fear an incapacitation by IT and the negative consequences such as an influential headquarter which restricts its own scope.

The fear is fueled by that too much digitalization could destroy jobs. This fear of the consequences of technological progress has already been described in the 1930s by the economist John Maynard Keynes12. He called it “new disease”. In fact, this fear was unfounded. The economies and their labor markets adapted quickly to the new situations. Recent studies show that the digitization created 1.46 million jobs in 201213.

New systems or workflows can also be triggers of anxiety. The risk of being exposed is high. Hofstede has noted in his comprehensive study that relatively high uncertainty avoidance exists in Germany.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Figure 1: Uncertainty Avoidance Index comparison, Germany and US14

When there are new developments, the Business Units are reluctant. They fear change and are satisfied with the previously functioning systems.

3 Ways to optimize communication

3.1 Factors for the interaction between Business Units Employees and IT Personnel

The formal position of the IT department in the company plays an important role. This ensures that the IT department is not a foreign object, which should be forced out.

The quantitative and qualitative size of the IT Personnel determines the speed at which new orders can be processed. This ensures satisfaction on both sides. A survey among CIOs for the management of IT budget by the specialist department revealed that in 2013 48.1% were negative vote15.

Another factor is the qualification of each party. As the uncertainty avoidance index has shown, through the teaching of basic knowledge about the activities and backgrounds of the different areas can reduce fears to say or do something wrong.

3.2 Regular personal exchange between the participants

The regular meeting strengthens the personal relations between the parties. Initially, the employees from the different departments are facing closed. In an atmosphere of trust, it can be easier to talk about difficulties or problems in cooperation. To promote personal relationships it is helpful to carry out joint activities or at least regular meetings once a week.

The communication should largely be done in person. This is not only more efficient, but it gives employees the opportunity to ask for clarification directly. When communicating by e-mail or in writing, this is usually associated with greater effort. In addition, an email serves possibly in a later issue as evidence. The weaker party wishes to avoid this threat if possible.

Body language also indicates whether the person opposite is uncertain or pursuing other interests. The collaboration between Business Unit and IT department is characterized by processes of change. In these conversations can also be clear whether a mental overload occurs. This should be taken as an opportunity to initiate supportive measures. This can be training for example.

[...]


1 Cf. Cap Gemini (2013): IT Trends Studie 2013, p.30

2 Cf. Cap Gemini (2014): IT Trends Studie 2014, p.13

3 Cf. Cap Gemini (2014): IT Trends Studie 2014, p.11

4 Cf. Computerwoche (2010): Strukturprobleme erzeugen Spannungen, http://www.computerwoche.de/a/strukturprobleme-erzeugen-spannungen,2355735, 26.02.2015

5 Cf. Computerwoche (2007): IT und Business reden aneinander vorbei, http://www.computerwoche.de/a/it-und-business-reden-aneinander-vorbei,1218645, 22.02.2015

6 Cf. Jochen Mai, Karrierebibel.de (2012): Jobprägung - Wie die Persönlichkeit die Berufswahl beeinflusst. Und umgekehrt?, http://karrierebibel.de/jobpragung-wie-die-personlichkeit-die- berufswahl-beeinflusst-und-umgekehrt/, 25.02.2015

7 Cf. Kristian Heidmann, Uni Oldenburg (2006): Merkmale eines Informatikers, http://parsys.informatik.uni-oldenburg.de/~stetz/seminar/ausarbeitung/MerkmaleInformatiker.pdf

8 Cf. Computerwoche (2007): IT und Business reden aneinander vorbei, http://www.computerwoche.de/a/it-und-business-reden-aneinander-vorbei,1218645, 22.02.2015

9 Cf. Computerwoche (2007): IT und Business reden aneinander vorbei, http://www.computerwoche.de/a/it-und-business-reden-aneinander-vorbei,1218645, 22.02.2015

10 Cf. Bitkom (unknown): Zusammenspiel zwischen Fachabteilung und IT, http://www.soa-know- how.de/business-process-management-bpm/zusammenspiel-zwischen-fachabteilungen-und-it, 22.02.2015

11 Cf. Computerwoche(2007): IT und Business reden aneinander vorbei, http://www.computerwoche.de/a/it-und-business-reden-aneinander-vorbei,1218645, 22.02.2015

12 Cf. Thomas Schulz (2013): Mensch gegen Maschine. In: Der Spiegel, 2013, 18, p.2

13 Cf. RP-Online (2014): Wie die IT-Revolution Jobs vernichtet, http://www.rp- online.de/wirtschaft/unternehmen/wie-die-it-revolution-jobs-vernichtet-aid-1.4014974, 25.02.2015

14 Cf. The Hofstede Centre(2015): http://geert-hofstede.com/germany.html, 25.02.2015

15 Cf. Cap Gemini (2014): IT Trends Studie 2014, p.12

Excerpt out of 14 pages

Details

Title
Optimizing the Communication between Business Units Employees and IT-Personnel
College
University of applied sciences Frankfurt a. M.
Course
Intercultural Competencies
Grade
1,7
Author
Year
2015
Pages
14
Catalog Number
V369317
ISBN (eBook)
9783668492677
ISBN (Book)
9783668492684
File size
561 KB
Language
English
Tags
Optimize, communication, IT, Business, Relationship, Business Units, Employees, Department
Quote paper
Malik Dakdaki (Author), 2015, Optimizing the Communication between Business Units Employees and IT-Personnel, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/369317

Comments

  • No comments yet.
Read the ebook
Title: Optimizing the Communication between Business Units Employees and IT-Personnel


Upload papers

Your term paper / thesis:

- Publication as eBook and book
- High royalties for the sales
- Completely free - with ISBN
- It only takes five minutes
- Every paper finds readers

Publish now - it's free