That’s what I felt like the theme of Bob Lewis’s article entitled “Run IT as a business—why that’s a train wreck waiting to happen.”  I understand that having people on different sides of an issue can lead to a more productive result, so this perspective is entertaining if nothing else. At a minimum, reading the article will expose a key problem IT organizations face, but the solution is no different than what vendors propose every single day.

Have you noticed the push to “solutions” and “solution-based selling” over the last few years in the IT space?  CIOs don’t give a rip about some fancy whiz-bang technology.  What they do care is if you can solve a (business) problem for them.  Vendors that provide solutions will sell more and be much more valued as a partner versus those that just sell basic product.

Run, by Fe Ilya

To me, that’s what this article talks about, but totally misses the point.  Running IT as a business means it has to be competitive.  What it sounds like is that the teams interviewed do  not have strong business leaders that can elevate the value of IT to the next tier.  If IT continues to react to the business, it is nothing other than a lowest cost provider with little to no value add.  Instead, IT should work to be a strategic partner (the only spot of brilliance in the article hints to this in the section entitled There are no IT projects) to the business, and not another allocated cost.

How do you run a successful business? Solve a customer’s problems and add value to their business at the same time.  If you are not selling solutions, you are just another replaceable vendor instead of a strategic partner.  Like information security, many leaders in IT organizations are unable (or unwilling) to properly frame and sell their ideas so that executives quickly understand how best to use these ideas to achieve their goals.

Check out the article, and I’d love to hear some comments as IT and IS organizations globally continue to become more relevant and service oriented!

This post originally appeared on BrandenWilliams.com.