Maximum efficiency is an important goal of any business. Yet misalignment of IT and business objectives continues to be pervasive, with 47% of executives in an Info-Tech Benchmarking and Diagnostic Programs study believing that IT does not support business goals. Without IT and business synergy, corporations run the risks of overall customer dissatisfaction, higher operational costs, and difficulty in advancing product development – all of which hinder success.
Ray Toler, VP of IT and Marketing at HTRI, notes that IT should not be thought of as a separate entity from the enterprise, but as part of the business process. IT should help drive new business and revenue generation. Executing business process automation with an aligned IT and business approach improves the ability to quickly address factors that affect the bottom line.
Explains Toler, “The challenge for IT is to understand the business. It’s critical that we understand what the business is trying to do and why because the why is more important the what and how. If you get to the why, the what and how are pretty easy to figure out. If you just start with the what and how and jump into a plan, it will fail.”
Diagnosing the Source of Misalignment
How do you determine if a misalignment exists? A reactive or systems-focused IT staff, instances of employees being without support staff, and/or a decentralized IT operation are all areas worth analyzing. The most common culprit is decentralized IT, which creates numerous resource overlaps across the enterprise.
IT tools also can contribute to or cause a misalignment:
IT departments want to stay current with emerging technologies, but doing so indiscriminately only wastes resources that the company either will not or cannot use.
Having too many tools performing the same function is a waste of money and make defining IT issues difficult and time-consuming.
Devising a Blueprint for Alignment
An e-book by HOSTING, a monitoring tools and service supplier, suggests that IT operations conduct a deep-dive analysis of where IT and business can better be aligned by answering six primary questions:
Do IT and business understand each other’s goals and pain points?
- Value measurements
Are IT metrics associated with business objectives through joint accountability and visibility?
Are IT and business included in overall strategy planning so IT investments can be aligned with business objectives?
- Scope and architecture
Is IT viewed as supportive and flexible by participating in routine business conversations?
Is IT considered an asset with a visible role in everything from strategic planning to sharing in the risks?
Does the organization support an environment that fosters innovation and entrepreneurship by creating an open environment for learning?
AllianceTek can help you create a strategy that best suits your unique business situation. We build long-term, synergistic relationships that help you utilize the best people, implement and optimize the best technologies, and deliver scalable business solutions that connect with prospects and customers to boost business, empower employees to increase productivity, integrate with vendors for enhanced efficiency, scale your business for future growth, increase transparency within the enterprise, and bring your vision to life.