An organization’s IT strategy is one of the most impactful factors in how a business’ operations is run. IT strategies impact an array of business operations like investment in technology, cost management, vendor management and risk management. This often leads to a bifurcation between business needs and IT needs. The lack of alignment between business and IT needs often stems from an IT strategy that is not business-aligned. In this post we will explore the importance of having a business-aligned IT strategy and what companies can do to achieve it.
Importance of a business-aligned IT strategy:
Many companies today believe they have a business-aligned IT strategy, but in reality they don’t. A business-aligned IT strategy will be evident in the results a company achieves.
The modern organization requires synchronization between business and IT to help meet customer needs.
The IT strategy is the building block in the relationship between IT and business objectives. The majority of organizations today do not have a truly business-aligned IT strategy; most are not even aware of the benefits of a business-aligned IT strategy. Some of the main benefits of having a business-aligned IT strategy include:
- Each IT investment/activity generates business value: The core benefit of having a business-aligned IT strategy is that IT activities drive business goals. A business-aligned IT strategy will simultaneously drive business-related metrics and IT-related metrics.
- Integration/collaboration between departments: A business-aligned IT strategy will require business and technology teams to collaborate to achieve shared goals. The added collaboration and teamwork between teams helps create a culture of teamwork in addition to meeting business goals.
- Organizational agility: A business-aligned IT strategy enables a company to adapt to market conditions and unforeseen circumstances quickly. When you have siloed teams and departments, it will take much longer to adequately respond to events and this slows down agility tremendously.
How to have a more business-aligned IT strategy:
The good news is that businesses can take several steps today to develop a business-aligned IT strategy. Some of the actions organizations can take to have a more business-aligned IT strategy include:
Identify business drivers: You cannot have a business-aligned IT strategy without identifying what drives your business. Identifying business drivers is the first step to acknowledging how IT can drive business and vice-versa. Business drivers are continuously changing, so it’s important to recognize them.
Fix alignment gaps: The business and IT teams will often have different goals within the organization. This often leads to alignment gaps where the teams don’t agree on various perspectives. Identifying and fixing these alignment gaps will help develop a more business-aligned IT strategy.
These are just a few actions your business can take to have a more business-aligned IT strategy. To learn how your organization can have a business-aligned IT strategy, talk to an expert here.