Business Relationship Management for the Digital Enterprise


chapter 3. it leadership for the digital Enterprise


This chapter takes a leadership perspective on the future of IT management for a digital enterprise. It introduces the concept of Business-IT convergence and the converged IT operating model.

For the Digital Enterprise, leadership roles will belong to those who:

  • Can connect the dots from business outcomes to technology enablers
  • Skillfully surface and shape business demand for information and IT
  • Orchestrate resources to meet that demand
  • Truly understand how to turn information and IT into tangible, realized business value
  • Are passionate about sharing their knowledge for the common good, rather than positioning themselves as the experts and high priests of the IT profession
  • Understand how to motivate and harness creativity and innovation
  • Are as passionate about business success as they are about IT

Key to integrating business and IT is the role, discipline, and organizational capability of Business Relationship Management (BRM). The concept of BRM is related to, and employs, the techniques and disciplines of customer relationship management (CRM).  However, while CRM most often refers to the external customers of a company, Business Relationship Management typically deals with internal customers and business partners. The BRM works closely with Product Managers, Enterprise Architects, Portfolio Managers and their Business Partner.

"No business problem here. Move along!"

I worked with a CIO who believed that Web 2.0 was going to be important to the business. He pulled his IT leadership team together for an off-site to raise awareness and explore possibilities. 

After the CIO had left the room, an IT leader raised the question, “What's the business problem we are trying to solve?"   The other IT leaders quickly latched onto this with a general consensus that there was no business problem to be solved and therefore while the topic of Web 2.0 was interesting, it did not apply to them. Given that everyone was busy, it was probably best to declare the off-site event a success and move on.