Does the business/IT relationship still have an “us vs. them” dynamic? Can it ever be avoided?

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CEO in Software, 11 - 50 employees
The modern IT organization as we know it—since it was called Management Information Systems (MIS)—is the youngest organization in all businesses, so it stands to reason that we're still figuring things out. And anybody who doesn't get a “yes” hates it. It's just that simple. We all hate hearing “no”, regardless of the justification and every business organization is always looking for a little bit more money to do one more thing. The facilities group would like to put in better air-conditioning or change the floor tiles. Marketing would love to have a couple of billboards on 101 but the boss won't let them have them. Everybody has constraints on some level or another. But, to paraphrase the well-known quote, constraint is the mother of invention.
Member Board of Directors in Finance (non-banking), 201 - 500 employees
I've been quite successful in working with the business and having my direct reports actually be part of the staff of individual functional executives. I had someone on the CFO staff and someone on the engineering staff and I have someone on customer service staff. By embedding those executives in one company at Palm, I had them in a formal dotted-line relationship to the functional exec and a direct line to me.

They were very much perceived as a part of the team. And if the corporate budget was not enough to accomplish something that was very important to that individual functional organization, they were willing to actually fund it themselves. In that structure, there is not that much angst in the organization because you are embedded with the business functional teams, and you have the flexibility to do more than what you initially defined in your annual plan, especially if the functional business units are willing to fund some of those activities.

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