IT alignment is an organizational coordination in which IT department objectives are consistent with the goals of the organization and each department within the organization. As a result of the alignment, an IT strategy is formed that includes internal and external customers and enables technological innovation such as the use of microservices and agile methodology.
These days every business is a technology business. As technologies become more sophisticated, the adoption and execution of IT becomes more complex. The complexity of IT requirements furthers the divide between IT and business operations. These departments remain siloed with the business side clueless about IT processes and vice versa.
That is why the goal of IT alignment is gaining traction enterprise-wide. Research shows that by 2022 half of global organizations will achieve more collaboration between IT and business operations.
– Better tools
– Enhanced resources
– Smarter solutions
These advantages can position IT from being a capital expense in the organization to a business driver.
IT Alignment Benefits
When organizations align results to position IT as a business driver, it has numerous benefits:
– Cost reduction (a cut in the 10% of IT expenditure that doesn’t benefit the bottom line)
– Better collaboration
– Transparency in the organization
– Healthier ROI
– Quicker time to market
– Implementation of agile methodology
– Improved employee knowledge
– Better training opportunities in IT
– Strategic results in IT and across the enterprise
– Enables more efficient decision making in every area of the enterprise
– Increased productivity
– Better responsiveness
IT Alignment Steps
Once an organization realizes the potential of IT alignment, there are certain steps it can take to make it a reality.
1. Establish Processes
The first step of IT alignment is to change thinking processes around the way teams’ function. Most organizations are siloed lacking strategy and collaboration between teams. For increased efficiency and reduced risk, teams must understand cross-functional responsibilities and cross pollinate.
2. IT Transformation
The second step is to utilize IT as a tool for business transformation. Once a conversation has started between silos, IT should be positioned as a value add to other business units. By integrating teams, an organization can find new revenue streams involving IT.
3. Customer Experience
The third step is to focus on customer experience. In a siloed organization, it is difficult to get business units to “speak the same language”. By prioritizing customer experience, an organization finds a common goal to break down traditional silos.
4. Create An Alignment Plan
The fourth step is to create an alignment plan. Organizations should look into change management, how people process change, and management frameworks to encourage IT alignment. By having an actionable plan in place, it is easier to get the buy in across the enterprise to encourage transformational change.
New Trends In IT Alignment
Research has found that almost 90% of leading-edge organizations are integrating IT strategies into the company’s overall strategy. The transformation in process, talent engagement, and business models has been on the rise since the 2020 COVID 19 pandemic.
The COVID 19 pandemic has revolutionized work and made IT alignment a more critical part of a successful organization. As remote work became more prevalent, organizations had to become more agile and lean to accommodate remote working conditions.
It became important for IT and business operations to “speak the same language” and function holistically to achieve goals in a more competitive market. Remote work also fostered collaboration between IT teams and business teams as employees had to learn how to adjust to virtual team environments. It increased the dependency on technology as a solution rather than an expense.