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How Do You Align Tech With Business Goals?
Aligning your IT strategy with your business goals can bring various benefits to your business, particularly reduced costs and an IT infrastructure that supports your business strategy; giving you a greater return on your IT investments.

Businesses are approaching an era marked by constantly evolving digital capabilities and consumer expectations, alongside unpredictable economic hardship. The need for companies to align their IT strategies and business goals has become more critical than ever to ensure their digital investments directly contribute to the wider business goals.

But how do you align your IT spending with your wider business objectives when an impending financial crisis puts reluctance in the minds of business leaders and stakeholders?

We’re exploring why it’s so important to do just that and how to achieve a linkup between your long-term IT strategy and your business goals.

 

Why Is It Important?

 

Aligning your IT strategy with your business goals can bring various benefits to your business, particularly reduced costs and an IT infrastructure that supports your business strategy; giving you a greater return on your IT investments.

 

1. Everyone Moving in Same Direction Leads to Faster Achievement of Goals

Business-IT alignment allows you to utilise the latest IT and technology to help you achieve your business goals more quickly and efficiently. By combining commercially-minded business leaders with specialised IT professionals, you create a powerful team of people with the technical knowledge and the business skills required to drive business growth. Such collaboration and teamwork will remind all the project participants that their contribution is highly valued.

 

2. Allocate Resources Effectively

Identifying and prioritising your company goals and realising how your IT can support them allows for better allocation and use of your IT resources, as staff can focus on the tasks that contribute to meeting business objectives. For example, if one business outcome is improving customer service, do you have enough IT staff working on the software you use for customer support to ensure support teams can deal with inquiries efficiently?

On the other hand, if one of your company goals is to control costs, your IT teams will be more focused on optimising your current assets rather than looking at new solutions.

 

3. Build Close Relationships

When IT leaders and business leaders engage in regular communication, it creates a productive relationship in which IT leaders understand the business needs and intentions, and business leaders gain a greater understanding of technology.

These connections enable business leaders to grasp technology concepts they wish to implement, while IT leaders become instrumental in advancing business growth.

If you need to bridge the gap between your IT team and directors, PSP's Business Analysts are experienced in engaging with professionals at both technical and board levels. We work as 'information conduits' by translating complex information into visually engaging mind maps for leadership and technical teams to follow. Find out more about Business Analysis here.

 

4. Guides Informed Decision Making

When business and IT strategies are aligned, your digital solutions will provide you with actionable and valuable information for making informed business decisions. By aligning the two, you could unlock a huge pool of data your company is currently sitting on.

When your IT Director fully understands what the business aims to achieve, their technical insight can be exploited; allowing you to take advantage of company data to guide your long-term decision-making.

 

What Happens If They're Not Aligned?

 

The word ‘misalignment’ could be too extreme because it could suggest your IT department has ‘gone rogue’ and decided to move in a completely different direction to where you want the business to go.

As providers of strategic IT services, we see first-hand the discrepancies between the understandings of board members and IT leaders. That’s why we’re called upon; to help IT teams understand exactly what their business leaders are trying to achieve, and to help directors get their heads around everything they need to know about technology in a non-jargon language.

Without this crucial step, your business could face several problems, including:

  • Lack of understanding between technical teams and business leaders that leads to miscommunication or siloed departments
  • IT spending doesn’t lead to a return on investment
  • Departments moving in different directions
  • Company objectives not being met
  • Excessive operating costs

 

How Do You Do It?

 

Achieving the perfect alignment of your board of directors and your IT leadership team requires careful planning and assessment of your business goals and IT capacity to identify gaps or weaknesses in your IT capabilities.

PDCA Cycle (Plan, Do, Check, Act)

The PDCA cycle (Plan, Do, Check, Act) is a well-adopted model across many areas of work and is used for carrying out change. Its four stages are an essential part of continuous improvement and can be easily followed when undertaking an IT-business alignment project.

1. Plan

  • Identify Business Goals: Start by clearly defining the business objectives and goals. These could be related to increasing revenue, reducing costs, improving customer satisfaction, or expanding into new markets
  • Define IT Goals: Determine how IT can contribute to achieving these business goals. This might involve enhancing technology infrastructure, developing new applications, or improving existing processes.
  • Alignment Assessment: Analyse the alignment between the identified IT and broader business goals. Ensure that IT goals are directly tied to supporting and advancing the business objectives.
  • Create Action Plans: Develop detailed action plans for IT initiatives. Specify the resources, timelines and key performance indicators (KPIs) that will measure the success of these initiatives.

2. Do

  • Implement IT Initiatives: Execute the action plans and carry out the IT initiatives outlined in the planning phase. This might involve deploying new software, upgrading hardware, or implementing new processes.
  • Communication: Ensure effective communication between IT teams and business units. Keep stakeholders informed about progress, changes, and any potential issues that may arise during a project.

 

3. Check

  • Performance Monitoring: Continuously monitor the performance of IT initiatives against the defined KPIs. Measure how well IT efforts are contributing to the achievement of business goals.
  • Feedback Collection: Gather feedback from business units and end-users regarding the impact of the changes. Assess whether the IT solutions are meeting their needs and expectations.
  • Analysis: Analyse the data and feedback collected to determine whether the alignment between IT and business goals is on track. Identify any gaps or areas that need improvement.

 

4. Act

  • Adjust and Improve: Based on your analysis and feedback, take the necessary corrective actions. This might involve revising IT strategies or reallocating resources.
  • Continuous Improvement: Use the insights gained from the check phase to refine both IT and business goals. Ensure the alignment between the two remains strong and adaptable to changing business conditions.
  • Communication: Share the analysis results and the actions taken with relevant stakeholders. Ensure that everyone is aware of the adjustments made to improve IT and business goal alignment.

 

Agile IT Resource

PSP Agile IT

PSP has a diverse team of director-level IT technicians. We know that not every business has the need or resources to hire a full-time IT Director, which is why our Agile IT outsourcing gives companies like yours flexible access to highly experienced IT directors without paying the full-time costs.

Click here to speak to a member of our team today.

27th September 2023