Be remarkable in how you define the mission. CEOs might appreciate IT organizations that don't present obstacles, but the business -- your peers -- will appreciate an enabling organization that's ready to dig in and partner on a very real level. A great way to start is with an overhaul of the strategy around the integration of systems of record and systems of engagement (we'll be looking at this in detail in my next blog entry). A ton of efficiency can be gained in connecting the two domains, along with streams of actionable data that can make IT the heroes of the business.
Marketing is another great target -- for good reason. Of all the business functions, they are the most likely and will be most active in seeking third-party solutions for analytics, social media, mobile, and cloud. Get ahead of the curve, reach across the aisle, and involve the CMO in defining your mission -- or simply planning the next few major marketing initiatives from an infrastructure perspective. Not only are you engaging one of your biggest customers, you're also stoking the fires of a good relationship through a shared agenda.
You may be reading this thinking these observations are not tenable in your current situation due to politics, budgets, or some other challenge. You might read this and think the real IT mission is still grounded in doing the same things better, faster, or cheaper. That could be true for some, but there's a limit to how much you can optimize anything. It's time to stop pinching pennies and rethink the value IT creates. In every industry, it's clear the business wants more technology -- you are the experts when it comes to what's next and what's possible. The window of opportunity to be that adviser and partner is now, and you might even secure that "seat at the table" in the process.
Blogger's note: This is my first entry in what I hope will be a provocative, valuable resource for the InfoWorld community. For me, this blog is a dialog. I'm honored to participate with you, and I encourage your reactions and feedback. We all work in what is arguably the most challenging function in our respective organizations; we owe it to each other to push the conversation deeper on all the topics we engage, so have at it.
This article, "It's a brave new world for IT -- for real, this time," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Read Michael Voellinger's Smart Leader blog each week for insights on managing IT in the modern era. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.