Gartner Research

Strategic Engagement Closes the IT and Business Divide to Deliver Business Outcomes

Published: 01 April 2018

ID: G00352386

Analyst(s): Janelle Hill


Transforming to digital business requires CIOs, IT teams and the business to partner. Instead of just aligning with the business, leading CIOs go further. They proactively and continuously engage with their business peers. This proactive engagement not only closes the proverbial IT and business divide, but also builds trust and partnerships that deliver desired business outcomes and enables CIOs to transcend the current business strategy.

Table Of Contents
  • Key Question
  • Opportunities and Challenges
  • How This Report Will Help


  • Acknowledgments

Executive Summary

  • Digital Increases the Need for Strategic Engagement
  • What Is Strategic Engagement?
  • Gartner Framework for Understanding IT and Business Engagement
  • Why Strategic Engagement Is Important

Digital Increases the Need for Strategic Engagement

  • I&T Form the Core of Digital Business
  • Digital Changes the Role of the CIO and I&T
  • Caution: Alignment Is Not Strategic Engagement
  • Continuous Engagement Is Key to Shift From Technology Provider to Business Peer

What Is Strategic Engagement?

  • Strategic Engagement, Defined

Gartner Framework for Understanding IT and Business Engagement

  • Business Strategy Sets Baseline Expectations for I&T Value
  • Expectations Drive the IT and Business Engagement Model
  • Relationship Dynamics Are Implied, Not Defined, by the Engagement Model Pledge
  • Strategic Engagement Is Independent of the Engagement Model
  • Shifting Engagement Models
    • Trust Is Key, but Contextual
    • CIOs Can Exceed Expectations to Shift the Context
    • Doing the Basics Right Is a Prerequisite
  • Maturity of the IT Organization Underpins Peer-Peer Relationships

Why Strategic Engagement Is Important

  • Strategic Engagement Produces Desired Outcomes
  • Strategic Engagement Opens the Door to Influence Strategy
  • Strategic Engagement Is Key for Developing Digital Offerings
  • Strategic Engagement Is a Team Sport
  • Strategic Engagement Expands Career Opportunities
  • Summary and Recommendations

Appendix: Case Studies

  • Strategic Engagement Drives Results for ADP
  • American AgCredit Transforms to Boost Business Results
  • FactSet Embraces Transformation to Scale for Growth
  • Farmers Insurance CIO Strategically Teams With Business for Competitive Edge
  • First American Financial Integrates IT and Business Operations and Improves Customer Experience
  • ScottsMiracle-Gro CIO Nurtures Strategic Alliances to Help Grow the Business
  • Solenis CIO and CMO Partner to Drive Digital Business Transformation

Further Reading

  • Related Content
  • Gartner Executive Programs Reports
  • Core Research
  • Books

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