Over the last decade, the alignment between business and IT has become increasingly critical to an organization’s success. This shift has given IT leaders a seat at the table as accepted partners of the business.
Too many business leaders still see IT as nothing more than an internal service provider: an important, but replaceable, function. If IT leaders are going to change this perception, they must become essential to business success—and that starts with the recognition that IT strategy is no longer irrelevant.
The fact is every business has the objective of growth, change, and continuous improvement. To achieve these objectives, Stability alone is NOT a sufficient purpose of IT. Decision makers need to see IT investment as a business enabler to drive their business goals. In doing so, there’s a need for upward compatibility and agility for IT leaders to be able to give businesses comparative advantages over their competitors.
The need to Align IT with business goals has become more apparent as the global economy is shrinking with lower barriers to entry, and the blurring of the lines between traditional industry segments and the entire markets and industries. Technological advancements continuously redefine what is possible and IT leaders need to embrace this to redefine their focus on customer satisfaction through better experiences.
In this technology-driven environment, IT leaders can act as an anchor, accelerating the organization’s ability to adapt and respond. This is only possible if their IT strategy is NOT only based on the current technology landscape but anticipates emerging technologies that can transform their entire organizations.
IT simply can’t adjust quickly enough to those changes because of the commitments made to its strategies: infrastructure commitments, service contracts, platform upgrades, etc. But IT can no longer thrive on being a “black box,” providing little insight into its activities and believing it's exempted from business strategy. More than ever before, their strategies must align with the overall business objectives.
Lastly, when IT implementations are harnessed correctly and embedded as a part of your organization's strategic plan, technology has the potential to greatly increase your organization's success. In many cases, this will require you to transform your IT Service delivery practice from a firefighter to a business partner or an innovator for you to optimally reap the benefits of your investment in business technology. To help achieve this, consider the following key dependencies:
Today’s business leaders demand speed and agility, require specialized skills, are engaged in the end-to-end customer life cycle, and expect technology to directly influence shareholder value—which may require a fundamental shift from traditional, centralized IT to a distributed “thin IT,” in which technologists are embedded in business areas. Thus, for IT leaders to reimagine the pivotal role of technology in their business growth, there is a need to change the operating structure; and even more critical is the shift from a technology mindset to a business mindset.
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