Why Aligning IT With Business Goals Is The Key Mantra

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With constant pressure from the stakeholders to increase margins, organizations are becoming more and more vigilant on reducing costs, achieving predictive outcomes, improving organizational efficiencies, controlling risks while not compromising on delighting the customers.

With the ever-changing technology dynamics and the growing demands from the tech savvy customer, the alignment of Information Technology (IT) to organization’s overall business goals and objectives is fast becoming the key mantra.

Today, where speed is the need of the hour and organizations are embracing to move fast and fail quick, technologists aligning to business lines and acquiring business knowledge as part of their day to day job has become the norm. IT professionals are being challenged to show the tangible value that they bring to the ecosystem through technical, operational, cultural alignments with business goals.

In the current IT as a Service (ITaaS) operational model, wherein IT and business strategies are complementary, the business lines are weaving their strategies in collaboration with IT to influence the business outcomes like faster time to market, improved productivity, customer delight, increased revenues and better profitability margins.

In achieving these objectives, the role of IT infrastructure has completely transformed to becoming a strategic partner with business rather than just being a traditional support organization. Infrastructure organization is expected to provide the much-needed partnership and value proposition in the form of high availability, scalability, security, reliability and redundancy.

For product-based software companies, the need for containers is the basic requirement with DevOps/Agile framework. Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) as the new buzzwords and are rapidly gaining momentum in industries like healthcare and banking sectors where the tasks are more repeatable, mundane and need actions with speed and more accuracy.

In the modern era of smarter world, Internet of Things (IoT) has boosted the overall business engagement levels to a new high resulting in the new wave of the technology adoption. With smart devices and machines, the interaction levels have increased multifold in the recent past and IoT enables a communication system established across the devices used on daily basis.

Cloud is another trend that seems to have found its firm ground in the business circles and is quoted as a solution for all the customer pains around resiliency, availability, scalability and security. Strategizing cloud is not just a business demand but also the morale booster of the modern workforce to work on the latest trends. IT Infrastructure teams are getting the revenue responsibilities of balancing On-Premise, Private Cloud, Hybrid Cloud and 3rd Party Cloud options like AWS, Azure and Google Cloud to achieve a fine balance between the available alternatives.

The list goes on from the current day demands of the business and the young workforce. The IT officer cannot be a ‘naysayer’ anymore and is expected to be a forward thinker and walk hand in hand with the businesses without compromising on the Security and other Enterprise Risks.

Organizations are coming up with innovative ideas of moving IT employees to direct business roles as part time interns to understand the pain and gain. This rotation of roles bring synergy in the thought process thereby enabling business to meet its objectives.

Identification of the right metrics is a key driver to measure the effectiveness of aligning to the business objectives. The metrics help in studying the past trend to illuminate the future. As they say, if you can’t measure, you can’t manage.

In most organizations, processes are enabled by tools to drive efficiency, control and insight in to the business outcomes. In place of scattered point tools, enterprise wide consolidation is a big challenge. Having a consistent set of tools across the organization will give a better visibility at both tactical and strategic levels. With the support of relevant data points, having one consolidated view of the overall IT environment enables timely decisions on capacity, availability and resiliency.

There is no such thing as ‘over communication’. To ensure the business goals and objectives are resonating to each and every employee along with their buy-in, there is a need for deploying several bi-directional communication channels within the organization like Emails, VC, IP Phones, Messengers etc. At the same time, IT needs to come up with the long term technology strategy and roadmap with clear milestones which can be percolated down to business unit levels thereby aligning to each of the business/functional units. While identifying the roadmap, in addition to the technological view, the IT head needs to wear the business hat to identify the relevant latest technology trend suiting the business needs.

Last but not the least, security becomes the underlying hygiene aspect for any of the IT infrastructure deployments. Ensuring security practices and procedures being followed throughout the solution deployments, will not only provide the confidence to the business and customers, but also drastically bring down any financial, regulatory and reputational risks.

By understanding the organizational culture, engagement model, capability and operating model of business and IT functions with IT estate backdrop, both IT and business complement their roadmaps to come up with an amalgamated view of attaining the targeted results unlike the traditional way of IT lagging behind the overall business roadmap.