High on the list of priorities for forward thinking CIOs and technology departments is business IT alignment specifically as they pertain to strategic objectives. C-level executives are more interested in conversations about how IT delivers value to the business and end user than just a technology discussion. However, IT departments often feel out of the loop, unappreciated and “playing catch up.” And the business side often feels that IT isn’t paying attention to where the organization is headed. So, what does business IT alignment mean and why is it important? Check out the statistics below from a recent study:
“64% of executives think that IT must better understand business goals.”
“47% believe that business goals are going unsupported by IT.”
“32% feel that IT is investing in areas that don’t support the business.”
Source: Info-Tech Benchmarking and Diagnostic Programs
Unless there is a thrust toward alignment between IT goals and business goals, your company will continue to miss the mark in customer satisfaction, product development, efficiencies and cost savings. And your IT department will continue to suffer from lack of credibility, trust and results.
Signs Your Organization Isn’t Aligned
Your IT staff learn of services problems from your customers instead of an internal source. This also means that data about the problems is likely not correlated or analyzed to resolve problems before they impact the customer.
Your organization operates in multiple time zones (possibly global) and your support staff isn’t 24×7. If support isn’t dispersed, employees in some locations are left without support resulting in a loss of productivity during critical business hours.
Your IT department is focused on and measuring the performances of systems (e.g. servers, network devices, storage, etc.), but isn’t measuring the performance of the services impacting the business and end-user (e.g. application, web, financials, etc.). While a system focus is great for internal IT monitoring, it doesn’t allow for understanding of the business and end-user experience.
While most organizations fall somewhere between centralized IT and decentralized IT, trending more towards decentralization often results in an abundance of overlap in responsibilities and tools. Not only is this inefficient, but is probably creating silos in your data. The result is a lack of visibility across your entire ecosystem. Without a clear picture, it’s difficult to proactively address issues, drive efficiencies or plan in an informed manner.
To learn more about business IT alignment and receive step-by-step directions on how to create aligned objectives that will impact your business in visible and meaningful ways, check out the webinar KPIs: Aligning Your IT and Business Objectives