What is a Business Relationship Manager?

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Information Technology, IT, departments are responsible for managing the technology that the business uses to achieve its aims. For many businesses, this means creating a useful phone system, installing and maintaining hardware for office spaces and maintaining company intranets that allow employees to access or share data, as well as create links to the Internet for further work. IT departments also have to plan for the future and create ways for the business to successfully use new types of technology. A business relationship manager helps the IT department in these tasks.

Definition

Business relationship managers, often abbreviated BRMs, are personnel who work as liaisons between the IT department and other branches of the business, especially executive boards and company leaders. These managers pass information between the IT department and other parts of the business, directing a variety of communications. They take part in many business strategy meanings and may have the ability to create and use teams to help complete certain projects.

Purpose

The concept of a BRM may seem like a strange one -- after all, other business departments do not have liaisons between their work and other aspects of the business. Managers and employees exchange information freely as they need to. IT departments have particular issues that make business relationship managers necessary. First, they are not as connected to every-day business operations as other departments, and so may need more direct updates on business strategy. Second, few business managers understand IT departments and their technological jargon and limitations. One of the key jobs of the BRM is to explain to the IT department what leaders want to accomplish in terms they can understand, and explain what is and is not within the capabilities of IT to leaders with equal clarity.

Common Responsibilities

Many BRMs focus on strategy and brainstorming that are used to create solutions to business problems. Others may work to manage relationships with external vendors that provide IT solutions to the business as a service. They also analyze IT systems for ways to increase efficiency and deal with any misunderstandings with projects that involve IT elements. Some also advise on the projects and objectives of other departments based on their knowledge of what the business's technology can handle. Most also have to conduct steady research on technology trends to keep informed on new developments and possibilities for the IT world.

Key Skills

BRMs should be above all excellent communicators. They often have to communicate the same kind of information in different ways based on the traits and personalities they are dealing with. Second to this communication talent, BRMs should also have extensive experience with IT systems and the ability to easily learn more when necessary. Many companies may need BRMs to have knowledge of finances and analytics to perform their tasks properly.

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