Sunday, April 14, 2019

Business IT Allignment

Nowadays, aligning an IT strategy and a business strategy is very challenging especially with the rapid improvements in the IT field . Technology has officially crept into every corner of business. As a result, every department has its own technology demands and the potential for IT budgets to grow unchecked has skyrocketed. These changes have led business leaders to require more and more technology related leadership and advice to help drive the strategic decision-making process. Therefore, every aspect of the IT strategy should support the business goals of an organisation. Moreover, every IT-related investment, activity, service or project must play a role in creating or optimising business value. Furthermore, IT should work towards achieving business-related metrics, not IT, in order to improve alignment (Orozco Vargas 2011). 

There are many benefits of such alignment: For First of all it gets everyone working towards a common goal. Second, IT supports the business strategy, adds value and drives success. Third, easier to control and manage risk and compliance issues. Fourth, IT demands are met in a consistent and efficient manner 
Fiifth, increase the agility of the business and allow it to react to organisational changes. Last, greater integrations and collaboration between departments – everyone is aware of the goals they are working toward (Nickels, 2005). 

Infact some of the challenges come when the IT departments do not have a clear understanding of what is important to the business, 
leadership don’t understand the value of IT and are hesitant to abandon outdated technology which involved significant capital expenditure, or when IT decisions are made separately. 

The most important arguments are optimizing communication between executives who make the business decisions and IT managers who oversee the technical operations. Also, the implementation of flexible business plans and IT architectures, as well as effective cost allocation, are critical components of any business-IT alignment effort (Sage, 2006). 

In order to get support for the strategy, it is important to back up the idea with data collected and processed by IT tools for advanced analytics, charts and metrics to estimate the performance of employees, departments and the whole enterprise with the new alignment. A stable growth of key performance indicators is one of the best tools proof that the strategy is on the right track. 

Owen Williams, partner and head of IT at commercial and residential property agents Knight Frank, recounts how he was able to allign IT strategy with the business needs. He 
took 6 months to understand the current structure and build the strategy. The key factors of his achievement were: thoroughly investigating the key needs behind different parts of the organisation - functionally and geographically, createing an IT strategy, and adopting the ISO9000 quality benchmark committee which has two executive board members and all the significant business players. Also, the strategy must also convince the IT department itself. If IT staff do not understand, or agree with the IT strategy, its successful implementation can only be jeopardised. 

References: 

Nickels, D. W. (2005). The relationship between IT-business alignment and organizational culture: An exploratory study (Order No. 3199489). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (305344261). Retrieved from https://search.com
 
Orozco Vargas, J. (2011). A framework of practices influencing is/business alignment and it governance (Order No. 10046920). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (1779020916). Retrieved from https://search.com

Sage, T. A. (2006). A model of factors affecting business and information technology alignment enabled by enterprise architecture: A structural equation modeling analysis (Order No. 3226205). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (304909356). Retrieved from https://search.com

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