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Trust and Partnership: Strategic IT Management for Turbulent Times by Robert J. Benson

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CHAPTER 9

The Partnership Relationship

Chapter 9 describes the business–IT partnership as a collaboration of equals seeking to achieve common, mutual goals. The partnership is not just at the organizational level; it describes every situation where business and IT staff work together, such as in project teams, governance processes, and planning groups (Exhibit 9.1). (Note, again, we talk here as though partnership is one on one, engaging just two organizations: a single business unit, and a single IT organization. As we've mentioned throughout, this is a simplification. The reality is often that more than one business partner and more than one provider partner are engaged in the pursuit of the common goals.)

The Introduction to Part II stated a Strategic IT Management principle: Partnership-Based Relationship: The Business and IT Relationship is also a Partnership. Credible IT service is necessary to build trust, but this is not sufficient to support partnership. The challenge is that IT's culture, performance, credibility, and transparency typically do not encourage trust, and IT is not good at developing partnerships. Business typically does not fully participate as well. The challenge is that IT is typically overly IT-centric, and this creates barriers in partnering with business. Proactivity by IT in building this business-focused culture is required.1

Chapter 9 describes the essential character of partnership applied to business and IT, with guidance to how this can be ...

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