5 reasons you need a business relationship manager

To better liaison with the business and bolster IT’s strategic cred, CIOs are increasingly turning to BRMs. Here’s how to locate the right talent and make the most of this hybrid leadership role.

5 reasons you need a business relationship manager
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Is your IT group overwhelmed with competing demands from different business functions for new or improved technologies they say they need to do their work efficiently? If you’re like most IT leaders, your answer is probably yes. And the solution may surprise you: Hire a business relationship manager.

A business relationship manager (BRM) — who may also be called a business-IT liaison or some similar title — is an executive-level employee whose role is to act as a bridge between business and IT, making sure the highest-level priorities are addressed, educating business leaders about the benefits new technology can provide, and making sure business value is achieved when new tools or products are deployed. And one of a business relationship manager’s most important functions is to help determine which requests and initiatives should take immediate priority, and which should wait or be set aside altogether.

“Many times, when I talk to clients about a BRM, the CIO says, ‘I have a backlog of 1,000 requests. If I start with a BRM that will double to 2,000 requests,’” says Cassio Dreyfuss, a vice president on the CIO research team at Gartner. “What happens is exactly the opposite. Why? Because the BRM is able to talk to the business and say, ‘This is not really important. This will be necessary next year. Why don’t we concentrate here?’ So the number of demands will go down rather than up.”

Beyond helping to keep the demand for IT projects to a reasonable level, a BRM can perform some extremely useful functions. Here are five reasons you need a business relationship manager, and how to prepare your organization to make the most of having one.

1. To make sense of your existing tech portfolio and projects

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