IT-business relationship, the industry example

>> This article is taken from the experience notebook to download “Industry: how do CIOs create more value in business lines?” »

We decipher the IT-business relationship to uncover concrete areas for improvement. The responses were made with a panel of IT and business leaders.

In all companies undergoing digital transformation, the quality of the relationship between the information systems department (DSI) and the rest of the organization is a key factor in success or failure. This challenge, which is organizational, cultural and technical, is especially acute for industry players.

Co-construction work

Alliancy brings together a selection of lead managers, change agents in their respective organizations, to co-build a synthesis of the key points needed today for manufacturers. wants to succeed in their transition to Industry 4.0. This summary is the result of work done in collaboration with publisher VMware, and with the support of Fabrique de l’industrie.

Contributors to this summary:

  • Ahmed Bennour, chief digital transformation and information officer – NAVAL GROUP
  • Joanne Deval, group chief information officer – AIR LIQUIDE
  • Pauline Flament, chief technical officer – MICHELIN
  • Benjamin Godreuil, industry leader 4.0 – ALSTOM
  • Julien Maillard, group director of digital factories – HAGER GROUP
  • Jacqueline Tejeda Carnot, IT Director France and Middle East – ROCHE
  • Eric Marin, technical director – VMWARE
  • Arnaud Forgiel, senior business solution strategist – VMWARE
  • Sonia Bellit, economist and project manager – LA FABRIQUE DE L’INDUSTRIE
  • Dorian Marcellin, Deputy Editor – ALLIANCY


Companies are now more comfortable talking about the digital space in their transformation than they were a few years ago. Maturity is especially prevalent within executive committees, when it comes to the impact of business models, internal collaboration or even the relationship between customers and service providers. However, organizations can also be distracted by the more “glamorous” aspects of digital, to use the term used by one of our workshop participants.

Read also: Responsible digital is gaining momentum within CIOs

However, the fundamental issues, structuring to allow a company to pass the course of industry 4.0 with brio and not just in talks, are often drier. In this sense, this synthesis returns first to the urgency of reinventing the cooperation between IT teams in the broadest sense and the rest of the company (the “IT-business relationship”, as defined in the main concerned); especially in the face of recent changes in context. Then, it highlights projects that seem to be a priority in the coming months.

notebook industry in dsi Why is the change in the IT-business relationship in the industry so urgent?

“We wouldn’t have built anything in Industry 4.0 without IT. This is essentially what a business manager remembers when asked about the importance of relationship quality maintained in managing his or her company’s information systems. But this importance of digital in all aspects is guided by many points that managers need to keep in mind today.

1. The “softwarization” of companies puts IT at the center.

Whatever their activities, industry companies are no longer digital consumers. They themselves are creating additional solutions, applications, which also open up their ecosystems. This dynamic is reflected in an increasing number of new professions, in particular developers, to lead the changes. In addition, many software publishers are betting on solving their solutions directly software as a service, in businesses, has nothing to do with IT. But the speed of deployment as such the company has come up against the difficulties of scaling up projects where IT teams are incomplete or lacking in knowledge (the so-called phenomenon of “shadow IT “). The risk is then great for the company not to succeed in analyzing the changes and stay in the experimental stage instead of succeeding in industrialization.

2. Cybersecurity is not yet such a big challenge.

This context of softwarization comes against another major trend, the explosion of cybercrime in all its forms. The recent pandemic era has further increased the risk of cyber attacks far from unnecessary. However, if industrial trades are in the lead, also because their innovation makes them more sensitive, while systems and machines are designed above all and for automation and electronics engineers, but seen they find themselves more connected to the IT world. . Without concerted action between IT and business, the company leaves the door open to threats.

3. The major opportunity to change the negative outlook in IT.

The organizational and cultural challenges that have already begun within CIOs, to implement greater agility, responsiveness, proximity to business, have experienced an “opening up of possibilities” in the same pandemic crisis that has exacerbated cyberattacks. In fact, the crisis has not only accelerated the desire of organizations to change to become more robust, but has also enabled IT teams to see a more positive light. So there is a great opportunity to take advantage of it ” reset »Relationships to build new trust over time.

4. The urgent need to pioneer innovation and simplify data access.

Rather than a simple support task, especially in terms of office automation, rapid technological change makes CIOs guaranteed. de facto the understanding and sustainability of such technologies. This position of the expert, to “co-pilot for business” to use the expression of a DSI, to explain the effects of change in other parts of the company, requires rigorous work, internally and externally. form. However, this is naturally reinforced by the fact of the use of digital technologies and innovation, and that of this, industry professions need to be able to access data from across the company (and anywhere), simple, efficient and safe. However, this is only possible with the new cooperation of IT teams that master the infrastructures where this data is stored and transmitted. Especially when it comes to getting out of the silos that each department is able to build around itself!

Five industry priorities for better IT-business collaboration

These different accelerations explain why the state of IT and business groups, and their relationship, can be different now. It is therefore urgent to consolidate some of the achievements made in the last 24 months of this IT-business cooperation. For this, the priorities expressed by the CIOs interviewed were grouped into several key areas.

  1. Build a healthier market relationship.
  2. Discourse change and management change.
  3. Establish the alliance between IT, digital and data.
  4. App adoption management and life cycle are different.
  5. Don’t forget the other trades.

👉 Find out the details of these 5 priorities in our notebook ” Industry: How do CIOs create more value in businesses? “, On download

This synthesis will apparently only skim over the many topics being addressed, each of which deserves a specific analysis. However, it makes it possible to identify the various themes that influence the quality of cooperation between the IT teams of an industrial company and the rest of its businesses. By asking the participants in our workshop, on the maturity of an organization in this area, a point emerged: in the face of rapid technological changes that are ongoing, is the company and especially the department of IT, think it has a way to be selected and asked? Or on the contrary it will go through change?

Between the lines, behind these questions, we find the components of what ensures a productive relationship among the company’s business groups. If they can be tempted to take their fate into their own hands without relying on their IT, they risk, perhaps not immediately but ultimately, a difficult return to reality. Behind this fact is the need to get out of pre-square logic, and, as one of the contributors called very well reminded us: absolute urgency is to get out of the fights of the egos if the purpose is the transformation of the company. in general.

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