The Importance of Business-IT Alignment and How To Achieve It
Forward-thinking companies are always looking for beneficial IT solutions to add to their toolkit. When you think about it, the way we communicate with existing and potential customers boils down to technology. Although there is no one size fits all organizational structure for business and IT alignment, most companies are taking strides to decentralize IT, shift closer to end users and blend the knowledge base to business strategy. Let’s face it; business-IT alignment is critical for market impact and growth!
What is business-IT alignment?
In a digital age where technology is ever-evolving, businesses need to make IT based decisions on a consistent basis. Business-IT alignment symbolizes the working relationship between IT professionals and business decision makers to gain financial return and optimize competitiveness in the market.
How does business-IT misalignment happen?
The process of aligning these teams seems intuitive, but barriers are more common than you think. Oftentimes, IT departments don’t have a clear understanding of what is important to the business, or the leadership team doesn’t understand the value of IT. Technology is constantly evolving, and sometimes leaders are unwilling to stop using outdated technology, or are unsure on how to integrate IT into the company’s business decisions.
How can businesses benefit from business-IT alignment?
IT solutions are more than tools to help automate routine tasks and collect data. They influence every step of a company’s activities. The benefits of better synchronization between business and IT allow organizations to approach the competitor chain differently. Some of these benefits include:
- Workflow and resource management optimization
- Better integration and collaboration between departments
- Faster time-to-market
- Increased profitability
- Overall better customer experiences
What steps can you take to better your business-IT alignment?
All steps towards better business-IT alignment begins with good communication! Here are a few simple steps organizations can take to improve their business-IT alignment:
Identifying existing gaps
In many cases, language barriers separate the business and IT worlds. They aren’t literally speaking different languages, but rather asking different questions and thinking about problems in different ways. Finding ways to better facilitate communication will help break down communication and breaking down any long standing barriers between departments.
Define strategic goals
It’s easy for IT leaders to see a lack of clear organizational goals status quo, and become complacent. On the other hand, the business side might not understand why IT pushes for technology upgrades, when they should be focusing on delivering existing services. In a nutshell, all goals should be clearly articulated and visible to all stakeholders within the organization.
Strive to converge
The challenges don’t stop once goals are set! Business leaders and IT leaders should always keep each other top of mind. It’s important for business leaders to keep humility, and recognize that they can’t achieve the company’s objectives all on their own. On the other end, IT should remember that technology is not an end in itself, but rather a means to a business end.
Need help aligning your business objectives with IT? We’ve got you covered! Thinline Technologies offers a variety of services including IT service and support, cyber security, cloud solutions, business continuity and more. Visit our services page to learn more or give us a call at (410) 453-9300.