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Bridging Business and Technology with IT Business Partners

As a company grows, its technology needs typically grow as well. Technology is often a critical component to performing business in today’s world. Whether we are talking about a particular line of business or a shared service such as engineering, finance, procurement, marketing or facilities, they all have technology needs. How can all these areas be served across the organization? At FTI, this is where the role of an IT Business Partner comes in. Other names exist for this role, but let’s talk more about the value it can bring.

A Seat at the Table

A challenge that many business units and shared services have is how to convey their technological needs. For instance, who do they talk to? Does the person they are talking to understand their needs? Do they understand their processes? Do they understand their goals? An IT business partner specializes in understanding a particular business unit or shared service. They must have a deep knowledge of the area and communicate regularly with stakeholders, building relationships and establishing themselves as a trusted advisor. The goal is for the people they serve to know they have a dedicated individual who has their business needs and interests in mind.

Business Goals and Outcomes

Once a seat at the table is established, the IT business partner can focus on goals and outcomes for the areas they support. For example, a construction estimating team might aim to increase the accuracy of material or labor estimates by 5%. While considering this goal, it’s important to understand how improved accuracy can impact field productivity and benefit data recipients like procurement and site personnel. The IT business partner will partner to perform financial analysis such as return on investment (ROI) or internal rate of return (IRR). If the objective is financially viable, technology solutioning will take place to achieve the goal. One approach the IT business partner might suggest is analyzing historical data to identify trends and insights that can enhance accuracy. Together, the estimating team and the IT business partner can review the results and implement dashboards that provide actionable insights.

Strategic Planning and Road Mapping

An IT business partner will often have discussions with their stakeholders in terms of an area’s capabilities. For example, they may meet with talent/HR to discuss a strategic need for improvement around hiring talent while onboarding new hires more efficiently. From there, discussions can be had around people, process and technology. Process is a key area that IT business partners are skilled in, performing process mapping to find waste in existing processes. Those business processes will often be linked to an HR technology system where a strategic plan and road map of future initiatives can be built. Prioritization can occur based on a company’s goals.

Execution and Delivery

Once strategic plans and roadmaps come to life, this is where execution and delivery start. IT business partners can assist in project charter creation, with business objectives defined with in-scope, out-of-scope, assumptions, dependencies and stakeholders listed. As charters get approved, often by a project management office governance committee, the initiative gets legs. A lot of joint work is done gathering business and technical requirements that are needed. Process flows, process maps, accountabilities and technology become front and center. The relationship between the business department or shared service with their trusted IT business partner is crucial for success. Whether it is a small or a large project, there is value in working together to plan, monitor, track and close initiatives.

Another example may be a company evaluating technology for reality capture. Discussions would occur to dive into the goals and objectives. This would lead to identifying the type of device needed to create point clouds, 3D or thermal images such as drones, terrestrial or slam scanners, 3D cameras, etc. Breaking down technical requirements further, the IT business partner can assist with request for proposal (RFP) processes. More discussions would occur regarding ways to objectively measure, platform and system integrations, cyber security and customer master service agreements (MSAs), all leading to vendor selection. Completing this work and realizing value quickly from technology can be done through these partnerships.


While every organization is different in the way it structures relationships between business units, shared services and information technology, having dedicated IT business partners to support important service areas can be valuable. The relationship and trust will continue to build over time, and their value will continuously grow. Is implementation of IT business partners right for your organization?