Staff augmentation results in IT alignment with a business strategy that spells success
Your business doesn’t operate in a vacuum, externally or internally. Business and technology objectives are closely intertwined, and aligning IT with business goals is essential for organizational success, increasing competitiveness, informing decision-making, and spurring innovation.
The question isn’t why you should align your IT systems with your business goals. The questions are, who and how? Your in-house team is stretched thin, and in the process of dealing with the day-to-day, your IT has wandered off-track and is not supporting your business goals, and your budget is getting out of hand.
Today’s business success depends on high-performing IT. The right strategic IT partnership can augment your staff to help develop an IT strategy, implement mission-critical IT initiatives, and provide a clear governance pathway to ensure you always have the IT alignment with the business strategy you need to reach your end goals.
How to align IT with business goals
Starting a business takes a clear vision and big thinking. Staying in business and prospering depends on technology that serves its purpose today and takes you where you want to go. The first step, of course, is to develop clear business goals. Make sure they are specific, measurable, achievable, and realistic.
While your goals may be clear, the technology needed to get there can be anything but. Your in-house IT staff may know how to keep things running, but do they understand your business's operating environment accurately? Focusing on the big picture when keeping current systems running smoothly is challenging, so capability mapping is needed.
Capability mapping will provide a view into your business capabilities and can be used to better align your business with technology, providing a common language understood by your IT team and your entire staff. This map shows the technical capabilities needed to operate and execute your overall business strategy.
Mapping done correctly may be complicated, but a strategic IT partner can prove invaluable. A strategic technology partner will help your business leverage technology to improve your business and its operations, often using software development to enhance business processes and help your organization grow, reduce costs, and increase competitiveness. In a recent survey, 83% of senior executives believe that significant or moderate improvements to organizational IT infrastructure and software are required to make them more agile and responsive to external changes.
The right strategic partner will work with you and your in-house team to develop an IT strategy that aligns with your business goals, evaluate current and future technology trends and their potential impact, and prioritize IT initiatives based on their impact on business goals.
Developing an IT strategy
Your technology can help your business, or it can disrupt it. Long-term business success depends on IT systems that can adapt to change. An IT strategy helps align your IT projects with your business priorities and plan for the future before investing. It’s a step-by-step process.
Now that you’ve mapped your capabilities, it’s time to develop an IT strategy. The first step is to review your existing infrastructure and systems for inefficiencies and gaps, then define priorities for the next three-to-five years.
For the strategy to be complete, perform a technology needs assessment and identify the technology required to support your business. It’s important to be true to yourself: Acknowledge constraints and limitations – lack of skills or resources.
You’ll also define how new IT systems will be implemented, develop a framework to manage your system, and how it will be monitored. While the C-suite and IT teams are busy planning for tomorrow, a strategic IT partner can augment your staff, take care of their day-to-day tasks, and support the development of a sound IT strategy.
Sharing your strategy
You can’t have alignment without the support of all stakeholders. The key is effective communication. It is important to be clear and open. Be transparent and share how the changes will affect their role in the organization.
Use the right communication channels and bear in mind people may employ different communication methods. Some prefer phone calls, others, email, or texting. Having an all-company meeting may not be practical, so host smaller departmental meetings. What’s important is that everyone knows what is happening and that they have the opportunity to provide input and ask questions. Develop presentations that can be viewed online and downloaded for future reference.
Address questions and issues. Ensure your stakeholders know you hear them and are resolving or allaying their concerns. Keep the lines of communication open. Getting stakeholder acceptance isn’t a one-and-done. Communicate progress and invite further comments.
Stakeholder communication is a balance between protecting the company’s interests and setting stakeholder expectations. Tailor your messages for your audience – your sales team likely isn’t interested in the same technology as administrative staff. Remember, it is the stakeholders and consumers who determine what adds value.
Stakeholder opinions aside, it is also essential to use objective measurements to determine if your IT initiatives are aligned with business goals. This is where a balanced scorecard comes in handy with four perspectives that include learning and growth, internal business, financial, and customer experience, but you will customize your perspectives so they align with metrics, targets, and initiatives.
You’ll use this data to determine which activities are on track to meet or exceed expected outcomes. The key to measuring progress toward alignment is to define your specific organization's needs and to match your activities and initiatives to the critical objectives on your scorecard.
The importance of IT governance
IT governance provides a structure that supports teams in achieving their goals. It is the process of managing and controlling important IT capability decisions to improve the management of IT, ensure compliance, and boost the value of technology investments. In short, governance is used to make sure the business knows the impact of IT decisions on business value.
Regulatory compliance is essential to a business; IT governance ensures it. Your IT governance strategy nets the most from your IT capabilities by increasing operational efficiency and forcing IT alignment with business goals. It provides a competitive advantage, fosters growth and innovation, and provides a means to monitor costs and increase the efficiency of communications.
Effective IT governance ensures alignment, improves company culture, optimizes operations, reduces risks from cybercrime, and lowers the total cost of your tech stack. It also provides a comprehensive overview of IT resources so you can plan where to use them most effectively.
Achieve alignment, buy-in, and governance with the help of an IT strategic partner
The high-performing IT required to achieve success with a business-IT alignment model may be beyond your reach with your current staff. The right strategic IT partner will augment your staff with a complete set of core competencies. Your partner should offer a transparent billing model where you pay for only what you need when you need it, with scope flexibility and scalability, providing savings over full-time hiring – money you can use for other critical growth initiatives. An IT strategic partner will ensure you get the most out of your budget and technology to have a healthier business with happier users and delighted clients.
A strategic partnership offers the opportunity to reduce expenses and increase business. The world today is reliant on technology, which makes it critical that your business has the resources it needs to take care of your technology and stay aligned with organizational goals. A strategic partnership helps your business run smoothly during strategic initiatives that keep you competitive.
IT alignment with business strategy is essential today and will only increase in importance. The success of a business/IT alignment model depends on the right strategy, stakeholder buy-in, and the right IT strategic partnership.
Ready to align your IT with your business strategy? Allari augments your staff and takes IT tasks off your IT plate with 80+ core competencies available on demand, sourced from 12 countries. We can embed teams in your organizations or operate on-call. We can also help you zero in on the technology opportunities that save money and drive revenue. It’s time to leverage Allari’s new technology expertise. Let’s get started – schedule a call.