Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Disher: Communication Gap Hurts Firm

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Disher: Communication Gap Hurts Firm

Article excerpt

By Nancy Raiden Titus

Journal Record Staff Reporter

Companies must overcome the communication gap between business managers and their information technology organization in order to remain competitive in a narrowrgin corporate world.

"It's like building a house with 10 different contractors when they are not talking to each other," said Chris Disher, senior manager in the Chicago office of the management consulting firm Nolan, Norton Co. "It just doesn't work."

Disher said the problem is that the business side of a company has different goals and performance measures than the information technology side. The business side is focused on profitability of the company, while the information technology side is concerned with other issues.

"The information technology organization is not understanding enough about business, and business is not understanding enough about information technology."

Disher will present ways in which the two can be linked during Infoch '92, an information systems conference and exhibition scheduled Tuesday and Wednesday at the Myriad Convention Center.

Disher's firm helps Fortune 500 companies make strategic use of information techology. He is director of its outsourcing practice, which advises clients about subcontracting their information technology services.

Disher said a drawback in the traditional method of strategic planning _ which includes defining a mission and objectives to achieve it _ is that it takes too much time.

"It is not responsive enough. Clients are going through transformations, downsizing to half the size they were before, dramatic improvements in cycle time, customer service, manufacturing, quality. These changes have huge implications on the technology base _ for both the business side and the information technology side."

Part of the strategic plan that he said gives many companies problems is identifying their business capabilities.

"The IT (information technology) managers go to the senior managers and ask them to give them a strategic plan, and one doesn't exist. …

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