IT has emerged as a central business function for many organizations in the recent years, and this holds true regardless of the industry that an organization caters to. Having said that, irrespective of the huge part that IT plays in reducing costs, standardizing processes, enhancing productivity and improving workflow and communications, its role in business planning is subservient to a large extent.
It is high time that establishments stop looking at IT as a mere implementation tool which does not have any role in shaping an organization’s business strategy. Today, technological developments pave the way for many business opportunities and IT can play a proactive and larger role in developing the long term business strategy of organizations.
Given below are some tips that would help your organization align its IT with its business objectives:
Understand your business and the nature of your organization
Unless you understand the nature of your business and how it fits into the sector and economy, it is very difficult to come up with a serious IT plan that would actually work. You can start by gathering important information such as organization charts, roles and responsibilities and associated markets and products. Needless to mention, you must also possess a crystal clear understanding of your customers and their persona. Also, you must take time to analyze the structure and cultural ethos of your organization. Once you have a map of your corporate model and how it fits into the larger picture, you can start planning for the future. At this stage, it is also crucial that you start documenting all IT assets and applications.
Identify and understand the relationship between your core business and your IT assets
Understand your business’ value chain and analyze its major components. You must have an in depth understanding of the factors that drive your business as these key scaling factors play a crucial role in planning IT strategy and alignment. At this stage, you must also duly collate information about internal as well as external factors.
Determine and set the change agenda
While setting the agenda, you must research and analyse your strategy several times; not only that, you must also ensure that there is a perfect balance between the cost, value and precedence of the IT estate and then identify the impact and implications of the IT alignment plan. Of course, you must also identify requirements, prioritize time frames and functionality, model and test the strategy well in advance to ensure that the final outcome is lucrative.
Once you have all the necessary information, chart out an IT plan that has business drive and is not extremely technology-eccentric
The most difficult hurdle that many organizations face while aligning IT with its business objectives is that most IT strategies lack business drive and are too technology-eccentric. This strategic variance can be counter-productive and can lead to overtly intricate IT infrastructures that are difficult to sustain and modify. In order to avoid such obstacles, it is recommended that organizations invest in strategic partnerships with IT Managed Service Providers who specialize in aligning IT with business objectives.