Anytime you’re considering the implementation of new technology, or you’re overhauling your IT department, it’s critical to align these strategies with your larger business strategy.
For example, if you were going to invest in network automation software, understand the benefits, including centralized management and reporting, as well as boost productivity and efficiency.
Your technology should be able to meet measurable goals and impact your bottom line in order for it to be a worthwhile investment.
The following are some of the important things to know about aligning your tech and IT initiatives with your overall business strategy.
Working with Your IT Leaders
Within your business, working with your IT leaders and your entire IT department is so important. You want them to be part of creative thinking and innovation because that’s going to be one of the best ways to bridge technology investments with business strategy and objectives.
Too often, businesses only look at their IT team as there to fix problems, rather than thinking they can be innovators within the organization.
Shift your thinking.
Often IT departments aren’t even in the loop as far as what’s important to the business, and leadership tends to underestimate the value of IT.
The Benefits of Aligning IT and Business Strategy
In order to embrace the alignment, it’s a good idea to know why it’s valuable to bring together IT and the business as a whole.
First, it puts everyone on the same page as far as meeting goals. It also creates a competitive advantage. You’re better prepared to manage risk, and your business can become more agile and equipped to meet challenges head-on.
You’re also paving the way for more collaboration between departments.
Clarify Your Business Goals
It’s going to be a challenge to align technology with business goals if you don’t have a clear view of what those goals are.
Examples of business goals to highlight include improved customer experience and service, better relationships with suppliers and vendors, lower expenses, and more productivity. You might also be working toward a larger digital transformation to future-proof your business.
Once you commit to bringing IT into the loop and you’ve gauged the benefits of aligning your strategies, a good starting point is to look at how aligned your IT and business goals currently are.
You can start to look for gaps and how you can fix them.
Identify and Eliminate Obstacles
There may be certain things standing in your way to bridging the IT and business objectives gap.
When you identify them, you’re then in a position to start to eliminate them.
A lack of communication is a big one, but if you’ve followed the first step above and started working to bring your IT team into your other goals, then you can begin to break down this obstacle.
Outdated technology is another obstacle. If your current tools and infrastructure can’t keep up with your goal and vision, then you’re going to have to look at specific ways to bring it up to speed.
Yet another obstacle is a lack of buy-in from senior staff as far as how important continual IT investments are to the organization’s overall success.
Putting a Plan Into Action
Once you’ve identified key stakeholders, goals, and obstacles, you can start to formulate a more specific plan.
First, you have to get executive buy-in. As was mentioned above, if you don’t have the support of senior staff, it’s going to be difficult to invest in IT in the ways that you need to in order to truly see a transformation.
Your senior staff and key decision-makers need to be able to see the value and make the connection between IT and business objectives.
Moving toward new systems and technology may also mean a period of disruption within the business, which is another reason to secure senior-level support.
From there, you’ll need clear and concise communication.
Then, you can start to evaluate what solutions are available to you. Be highly specific in the solutions that you choose, as far as how they meet measurable goals. Again, this is all about being able to measure the impact of technology and IT on business success and the bottom line.
Finally, other employees need to be well-trained and supported as you’re making changes. Everyone within the organization needs to understand how they play a role in strategic goals, as well as the role of new technology.