The alignment of business and IT objectives is a rising priority for many forward-thinking CIOs and technology departments. Executives are more interested in conversations about how- IT delivers value to the business and end user than just a technology discussion. Following is a deep dive analysis of six key areas where IT and the business should be aligned. We suggest you create a document that captures your action plan as it relates to these criteria and the suggested how-tos below.
Business Alignment Criteria 1: Communication
Success: IT and business departments understand each other goals.
How’s it done: Build programs (committees, executive sponsors, etc.) to bridge gaps and understand each other’s pain points and goals.
Business Alignment Criteria 2: Value Measurements
Success: IT metrics are associated with business objectives; e.g., server uptime vs. financial application uptime.
How it’s done: Create SLAs, formal reviews and assessments to provide accountability and visibility.
Business Alignment Criteria 3: Governance
Success: IT investments are aligned with business objectives.
How it’s done: Create steering committees that include IT and business leadership to review IT investment (e.g., new product investment alignment with sales incentive program) and organizational criteria (i.e., organizational structure and employee goals).
Business Alignment Criteria 4: Partnerships
Success: The organization considers IT to be a valuable partner.
How it’s done: Ensure IT has a visible role in strategic business planning and create shared goals and risks. It’s often helpful to assign a business sponsor or champion for IT.
Business Alignment Criteria 5: Scope and Architecture
Success: IT is actively engaged, transparent and seen as a supportive and flexible partner.
How it’s done: Engage in regularly scheduled conversations to address the need for change in current efforts, acquisition of emerging technology and the limitations of each from an IT perspective.
Business Alignment Criteria 6: Skills
Success: The organization and management team supports an environment that fosters innovation and entrepreneurship. Teams are motivated to build skills that support each other.
How it’s done: Create opportunities for cross-training, career crossovers and building a trusting, social culture.
For more details on business alignment criteria and step-by-step directions on how to create aligned objectives and how to map KPIs back to those objectives, download Aligning IT with Business Objectives – An eBook from HOSTING.