For many consulting firms and software vendors bridging the gap between business and IT is sort of a holy grail. Contrary to what you might expect, bridging this gap has proven to be quite a challenge as it has been a topic for debate for many years now.
What is really going on? Business and IT both speak very different languages. The business often applies a more conceptual language related to processes and operational execution which needs to be translated by IT professionals to a more technical and IT technology related language. The key issue is twofold. Firstly, the specification provided by the business are more often than not unambiguous and incomplete. Secondly, IT professionals often apply their own understanding of the blanks instead of verifying the inconsistencies with the business. Add these two factors together and you are confronted with the famous "gap" between business and ICT. Things literally get ‘lost in translations’.
The good news is that a solution for bridging this gap is available. There are so-called requirements management tools that are able to help an organisation bridge this gap by the use of natural language in combination with a structured approach to requirements management. Practise shows that by using such tools the quality of the requirements increase by 50% and the process of requirements gathering takes 20% less time.