The first thing you need to bear in mind is that aligning these strategies involves more than combining them together within a single document. It is a lot more complicated than that.
In truth, what you need to do is make sure that every aspect of your IT strategy supports the long term goals of your business. This means every IT investment, activity, service or project must be done with the intention of optimising the value of your business, and as such should be measured on business metrics not IT ones.
Yet, this responsibility to succeed should not rest solely on the shoulders of IT. Leadership should also be mindful of their IT resources and must recognise that tech plays a vital role in the effectiveness of the business.
That being said, once these strategies are aligned you can expect vast improvements to your business as a whole.
For instance, businesses that align their IT and business strategies are usually:
- More dynamic and agile in their operations, leading to higher ROIs – from more efficient processes, to faster response times, to improved supply chains… by aligning these two strategies, you will find that alongside all aspects of your business working together towards a common goal; you’ll also have a greater awareness of what other areas of your business are doing.
- Current, connected and one step ahead of their own needs.
- Better equipped to achieve your objectives, such as: improved communication (between departments and clients); more cost efficient (in terms of activities); better flexible working arrangements; higher levels of customer satisfaction, and improved performance against competitors.
- More compliant – you will find it easier to control and manage your risk and compliance issues.
- Better protected/secure – ensuring reduced risk of cyberattacks and data breaches.
- Integrated across departments – with greater awareness of what everyone is doing, you will witness more cross-department collaboration and communication.
- More reactive to change – not only will you meet IT demands consistently and efficiently, you’ll also see increases in business agility and reaction times to changes.
And it is easy to see why they work so well together. While we might view them as separate entities, in most cases we rely on IT for some if not all of our operations. As a result, they are integral to your performance.
As such, any disconnect between the two could lead to misalignments in your objectives. Which in turn, could cause you to use technology solutions that aren’t the most efficient for the processes being carried out for your business.
And when that occurs, you’re looking at piling costs (in your quest to make it work), increased frustrations (because they aren’t working) and a loss of focus on delivering a high quality service or product to your customers.
To eliminate any danger of disconnecting, it is important that: all IT departments have a clear understanding of what is important to your business; that leadership recognises the value of IT, and that all IT decisions are made alongside your business ones (never treat them separately). Likewise, you need to move past the temptation to use outdated technology, and remember that alignment is not a one-off tick box.
In truth, alignment between these two strategies should be regularly reviewed, assessed and adjusted because even if you succeed in aligning them, there is still a risk of disconnection from changing priorities and departments reacting to these changes (but in their own self-interest and with no regard to how it will impact on IT).
For help developing an IT strategy that aligns with your business objectives get in touch with Economit. With the assistance of our IT assessments and audits, our team can review your IT infrastructure, hardware, software, licensing, communications (landline and mobile), IT support providers/resources, security and procurement; so you can easily blend your IT and business strategies together and give your business a competitive edge.