Four Strategies to Master Business-IT Alignment
IT is more than an ancillary component to your overall business. From marketing to operations and finance, it’s critical to the success of most business functions. Therefore, IT leaders should be integrated into conversations about strategy, vision, and goals early on. When IT and business leaders are working in sync, you have a solid foundation to transform technology into a revenue-driver for your business.
Before you can take steps to mesh IT’s strategies with the goals of the business, you need to figure out why the disconnect is happening. Here are a few areas where you can start.
Common Reasons for Breakdowns in Business-IT Alignment:
- IT is unfamiliar with overall business objectives.
- Business leaders don’t understand the value of IT.
- Leadership is unwilling to invest in updating legacy technology.
- IT isn’t looped into critical business decisions.
How to Align IT with the Business
The process of IT and business alignment doesn’t have a single starting and endpoint. It consists of a series of iterative planning, development, and learning cycles that incrementally push both sides toward common ground. Implement these strategies to build a productive partnership that satisfies the needs of both IT and the business:
1. Breakdown organizational silos
Business-IT alignment is dependent on consistent communication across departments. IT leaders can regularly set aside time to share their ideas for innovation and, in turn, gain useful insights from their business counterparts. This cross-pollination of knowledge and ideas encourages a collaborative approach to digital transformation. Especially when IT is involved throughout the processes of a company.
2. Identify business solutions that benefit from IT innovation
As the needs of the business evolve, identify areas that could benefit from IT innovation. If the business is launching a new product, IT is capable of building a new system to accommodate it. When IT is clear on the organization’s needs, they can prioritize designing an infrastructure that maximizes ROI and optimizes operations.
3. Establish a shared vision
The goals and priorities of the business can’t be created in a vacuum. Both sides of the aisle should work toward creating a shared strategic vision that’s clearly articulated to key stakeholders. An important component of achieving this is changing the perception of IT’s role in the business. CIOs and IT leaders should be seen as powerful agents, as opposed to bystanders, of growth and transformation.
4. Connect IT performance to business goals
Traditional IT metrics like uptime and project completions don’t tell a complete story. Sure, it’s important to get new products out of the door on time, but IT leaders have to go a step further and measure their impact within the context of business strategies and goals. How much revenue growth can be attributed to that new product? Has it led to an increase in new customer acquisitions? Metrics like these explicitly align IT with business objectives.
When the goals of IT and the business are interwoven, organizations function better, are more profitable, and see better ROI. Learn more ways you can use IT to fulfill the vision and goals for your business by downloading Devsu’s eBook, Technology as a Tech as a Revenue Driver: From Operational Support to Customer-Centric Tools.