Being transparent isn’t just good in the ethical sense, it’s good for business too. A successful relationship with your IT partner is rooted in trust and transparency on both sides.
Transparent relationships that are nimble and encourage collaboration help to ensure clear expectations around delivery and outcomes from the start. In our current state of a “shared economy,” transparency and trust are ever more important. Tech Crunch writes that the shared economy “has brought a sense of community, engendered more collaboration and sparked new thinking and put a premium on trust.” If you’re not actively working on building trust in your IT partnership, Tech Crunch continues, “the future might be about to leave you behind, as trust is quickly becoming the global — and most valued — currency of modern time.”
There is no such thing as “over-communicating,” especially when it comes to your bottom line. If you’re working in fast growing and highly lucrative industries like food delivery services or autonomous vehicles, putting in the extra time, effort, and energy is worth it to ensure transparency as you innovate with your IT partner. Successful partnerships are all about the relationship, and that relationship goes both ways. It begins with an open line of communication. Have honest conversations and document your workflow.
- Capture expectations: Creating an open line of communication also means listening and being open to accepting feedback on internal inefficiencies. For example, our clients often struggle to fully manage complex logistical needs across locations, meet acquisition timelines, and effectively utilize internal IT employees’ skillset on IT transformation. Share your struggles with IT partners to come up with solutions together. This builds a transparent relationship and ensures you’re in sync on the process.
- Share documentation: Align expectations and define steps to achieve results with your IT partner. Ensure your IT partner has quality processes in place that include documentation of agreed upon expectations and workflow steps. Reference the shared documentation to appropriately address any issues that arise. Documents, like a quality control plan or “protocol and procedures,” keep everyone on the same page, and are necessary tools to guarantee transparency.
- Identify leaders: Identify a lead contact person from each side of the partnership to help promote time efficiency. The leaders manage a standardized process for fielding requests, assimilating and submitting information, and identifying team member roles. This improves the flow of information, lowers the reality or perception of risk, and ultimately builds a more transparent and collaborative work environment.
What’s the opposite of transparency? Secrecy, which erodes trust. The Harvard Business Review writes that “transparency is intertwined with trust, and that transparency is something that a company mostly controls … the greater the transparency, the greater the trust.” Communication produces trust between your company and your IT partner and ensures sensitive data and information are kept secure. It’s critical, for examples, to share process documents, access to real-time data, and OEM neutral options and pricing.
Read our other posts in this series on ideal IT partnerships here.