IT leaders are renaming their departments, changing their job titles, creating mission statements, and more to communicate what they do for the business.
According to many of the CIOs I talk to, “IT” no longer captures all that their organizations do for their businesses, so they are working hard to rebrand their departments. For some, rebranding involves little more than creating a new name for the department formerly known as IT. Others are changing key job titles, including their own, and creating communications strategies, slogans and mission statements.
Last week I reached out to readers of The Heller Report and asked them to share what they have done to rebrand IT. Here is my compilation of the responses I received on the subject of rebranding IT. Enjoy!
Question: How are You Rebranding IT?
“At the center of our brand is ‘service.’ The word ‘service’ is a significant part of our name: Integrated Technology Services. In addition to our name, our tag line, ‘The Business of Information Technology,’ serves as a reminder of our fiduciary responsibility, our service commitment and our definition of innovation—‘doing something different, not just doing the same thing better.’ Finally, our organizational structure is inverted, with our customers and colleagues at the top followed by all of our stakeholder-facing teams to further emphasize our service culture. Our business begins and ends with service every day.”
-Barry M. Pelletteri
“We renamed IT to Global Technology Solutions. This brought together the global aspect of our business and pulled all the IT groups together. ‘Solutions’ focuses us on complete solutions to business problems, not just the technology.”
“We rebranded our department late last year as the Digital Business Group and aligned the team to three services; Product Management, Solutions Delivery, and Enterprise Services. We needed our business partners to see the team as more than just doers, but as partners on defining objectives, prioritizing opportunities, and evaluating multiple solutions. We also needed the former IT team to see themselves as part of the business, contribute to the dialogue on what problems to solve, be agile to present multiple solutions, and to communicate in business terms. Our rebranding and restated mission was a step toward this new paradigm and necessary to succeed in our transformational objectives.”
“’Enabling the business to ask better questions.’ We collect and organize data that had not been previously available. This can mean formalizing procedures, sourcing new data or just cleaning up processes and data sources. Once the data is available, the business can ask all sorts of new questions, leading to a need for even more data. Then rinse and repeat.”
“Our mission was more about creating a culture of delivery and value with the business, and less about rebranding IT. An example of that was the creation of an IT service catalog that makes the discovery and consumption of IT services more nimble.”
“To effectively rebrand IT in the corporation, I have found it is necessary to blur the organizational boundaries between IT and the other business units. For example, if a CIO insists all technology resources directly report to IT, there is the risk of introducing (or increasing) the ‘us and them’ mentality. Having ‘IT’ resources in the business can be catalyst for increased alignment, communication, and ultimately, trust. Another opportunity for alignment and rebranding IT as a partner with the business units is to designate IT positons specifically to focus on serving the business unit. We endearingly called these resources BAMs (Business Alignment Managers). The BAM’s primary responsibility was to champion the business units needs within IT and facilitate and ‘translate’ IT processes (and their benefits) within the business unit. It was not unusual for the BAMs to actively participate in the business unit leadership’s staff meetings. IT alignment activities like these have proved effective at rebranding IT from ‘us and them’ to simply ‘us.’”
“Our IT spirit slogan is ‘Excellence through Partnership.’ We have also introduced an additional campaign called ‘YouX Revolution’ which is focused on the team members.”
“We are organizing the IT team around services, not technology. We market the team as a Service Delivery shop with a Service Delivery Catalog as the core governance and marketing mechanism.”
“When I took over the job as CIO at a former employer years ago, I immediately rebranded the IT organization as Information Services (IS) to reinforce that we were a service organization supporting the business. That attitude change caused our customer satisfaction rating to go from a 2.3 to a 4.8 out of 5 in only a year.”
“We are now known as Business Technology (BT) and have moved away from Information Technology (IT). Our vision is to enable the company’s success through delivering forward-thinking, collaborative, reliable technology solutions. Our mission is to be strategically integrated into the business (i.e. a partner) with the delivery of technology solutions that add value to our clients, team members and provide the highest potential to enhance success.”
“In one of my previous jobs we rebranded IT as ‘Technology Partners’. Rebranding is essential but changing the behavior is more important than a new name. We put in place "business liaison" roles and worked with the business units to incorporate them into their staff meetings. This gave us a stronger partnership with the business units and a better understanding of their changing needs and priorities.”
"BITS: Business Information & Technology Services."
“In my current role I consult to CIO's, however one day I would like to switch to the other side of the table. IT sounds like an old fashioned set of data centers with servers and software. I would probably rename IT to Digital—Digital transformation, Digital marketing, Digital engagement, etc. and position the department as agile business partners for everything digital.
“I'm planning to use the title of CITO (Chief Innovation and Technology Officer) instead of CIO.”
“We have changed the IT department’s name to ‘Global Business Solutions.’”
“We use the acronym B.A.I.T. - which stands for Business Aligned IT. We encourage our business to ‘Take the BAIT!’”
“We are putting an emphasis on our ability to deliver data and business intelligence instead of focusing on infrastructure and operations. “
“Run IT like a business.”
“Growth enabler, brains for business.”
We renamed IT to ‘Digital Services.’