Why Business-IT Alignment is Important & How to Achieve it?

    Aug 22, 2019 4:00:00 PM Keeran Networks Business IT, IT Alignment

    Forward-thinking companies always look for IT solutions that add value to their business. Each new implement in the business strategy is like a piece of the puzzle. You may think it fits at first and then modifies to find the perfect order.

    As market demands and customer’s expectations increase, business leaders need to synchronize processes across the whole enterprise. However, the challenge here is to make digital solutions harmonize with enterprise goals.

    Why there is a need to align IT with Business Goals?

    In the last few years, IT has moved on to acquiring a primary role in the business scene and strategic IT consulting is fundamental to business success. Your information technology infrastructure does not merely offer supporting tools to automate routine tasks rather it

    • Influences business activities,
    • Optimizes workflow,
    • Manages Company’s Resources,
    • Enables better integration and collaboration between different departments,
    • Improves Customer experience and
    • Provides better visibility in supply chain

    Hence, your IT can have a more active approach in achieving your business goals. The need here is to get the right perspective and understanding.

    In fact, you’ll experience improved decision making based on advanced analytics, which can further help optimize the workflow of the whole team. As a result, there are better products and service delivery, and costs remain in perfect coherence with your budget.

    Why IT becomes Misaligned?

    There is a fault in basic perception. Most companies don’t embrace IT strategy as one crucial part of their business strategy and separate it from their day to day roles.

    Not just this, a lack of technical understanding fuels to a significant financial loss. Many technology services are used as a universal solution to different problems. In other cases, some enterprises invest in a hype-driven solution without understanding its proper implications for their business.

    If your market is inspiring you to experiment with new initiatives, it is essential to stay relevant. In this scenario, if top managers don’t have the idea or a basic understanding of how IT would contribute to their organization’s success, it will only lead to loss.

    We need to concede to the fact that as your organization grows, priorities shift. This requires an immediate revision and updates to its technology structure as well. On the other hand, an outdated IT agenda or some rash decisions can have a detrimental effect on the company’s operational capacity.

    How to Achieve Business-IT Alignment?

    Below we have outlined some steps leading to better business-IT alignment:

    Identify Business Drivers

    The very first thing to identify is your business needs. This which will drive IT enablement. Your company could be launching a new product or acquiring another company. In both these scenarios, you will aim for an empowered IT. In the first scenario, we can leverage a new fulfilment system and in the second may be rationalizing the systems of the two could be required. These business needs are continuously changing, and they should be periodically identified so that action can be taken accordingly.

    Creating a vision for your IT

    As you identify your business needs, the next step is to recognize your IT capabilities. You need to strategize, process, procure infrastructure and organize your business priorities. In short, create a vision for your IT. This will include general guidelines or policies that drive your IT capabilities. Remember that no two companies can have precisely the same requirements. There will always be a difference depending on underlying beliefs, and these should be articulated in your IT vision.

    Analyzing Current Alignment

    Next, it would be required to compare your current capabilities with your envisioned capabilities. And there are three dimensions to it – investment, asset and organization. You need to assess and analyze your existing structure and align along these three dimensions.

    Identifying Gaps to Business-IT Alignment

    Once you assess “to be” capabilities with the current capabilities, you’ll recognize the factors that are causing the misalignment. Make sure that the comparison is made along the three dimensions – investment, asset and organization. This will identify the precise causes of misalignment. Once you identify the gaps, you can plan for the potential fixes.

    Prioritize Initiatives

    As you identify the gaps, you’ll also have prepared for the potential fixes. However, it may not be possible to act on all the fixes because your organization can have some constraints. This is why we need to prioritize which initiatives will be completed first. Maybe we could start with ones that are easier to fix.

    Evaluate your Options

    As you prioritize your lists, start preparing for the implementation. This option is immensely critical for success. You need to create a roadmap for implementation and carefully evaluate all the steps required following to/after execution. The roadmap should consist of careful planning and offer suggestions for all the risk factors.

    In the end, we must keep track of the changing business world and make sure our technology solutions are in line. It is the responsibility of the senior leadership to ensure that we do not continue with those initiatives are unsupportive to the growth of the firm. CIOs are paid to make these tough decisions.

    However, if your company needs a virtual CIO, Keeran Networks can provide you with a good strategy backed up with reliable technology aid. Our all-around strategic IT consulting gives fresh ideas on how to get the most from your business with IT.

    Keeran Networks

    Written by Keeran Networks