5 Tips on how to achieve IT-business alignment

5 Tips on how to achieve IT-business alignment

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Imagine following a souffle recipe calling for four beaten egg whites. Other than the ingredients, you need tools. Obviously, you can’t beat eggs on your kitchen countertop — you need a bowl that’s large enough to allow for vigorous whisking. Speaking of whisking, you’ll also need a wire whisk. A fork may take too long, but an electric hand mixer will produce the results you want more quickly and with the least amount of effort.

Having the right tools for the job applies to many other things besides cooking. For flourishing businesses in Kansas City, their tools are IT solutions. No organization is ever exactly the same as another, so the solutions must be made to fit its specific needs. But how is this IT-business alignment achieved?

Let’s take a look at a few tips that may help your business in this regard.

  1. Foster close relationships among internal leaders

    A memorable scene in the hit HBO series Game of Thrones is that of King Baratheon asking Queen Cersei, “Which is the bigger number, five or one?” Cersei answered five, and the king agreed with her. But then he curled five fingers into a tight fist and said, “One.”

    In the same manner, an organization is stronger when it is united under one purpose. This means that beyond being an enabler of business strategies, IT must play a key role in defining the corporate vision.

    Additionally, IT leaders must intimately know the needs and priorities of other departments. Non-IT managers must share their plans with IT management to prevent the latter from performing any guesswork about the former’s pain points, and so that they can come up with solutions together.

    This close collaboration and open dialogue with one another will require collaboration tools — and it is up to all internal leaders to determine which tools will work best for the organization.

  2. Let those in IT be the IT experts

    IT is like a fantasy world where landscapes are foreign, ever-shifting, and hard to navigate. Therefore, having non-IT leaders dwell on how a particular IT solution would work from a technical perspective will not be productive. It will be like a person with no medical training diagnosing themselves and telling their doctor what to do.

    It is much more efficient for IT to ask business leaders about their jobs, the most pressing challenges they’re facing, and the market opportunities they’re foreseeing. Armed with that knowledge, IT will then evaluate tech solutions to see which ones can best solve these challenges and take advantage of new opportunities.

  3. Establish and maintain mutual trust

    Have you ever been in a managers’ meeting where department heads bashed one another for unmet goals and declining profits? Or have you been in a company where a culture of internal secrecy and one-upmanship prevailed? These are signs of a toxic workplace in which trust has eroded and become difficult to regain.

    Being a primary enabler of the organization, IT becomes the target of blame. IT planning details fall under sharper scrutiny, which eats up valuable time and leads to the false notion that precision will make it harder for them to fail.

    In contrast, departments that trust one another allow themselves to take ownership of their respective challenges and be vulnerable to one another’s failures and successes. In such an organization, trust is built on shared goals, transparency, and mutual respect, all of which are fostered by open communication and a constructive feedback process. Because of trust, decisions are made quicker, more time is spent on executing than planning, and more risks that offer high rewards are taken.

  4. Support IT’s innovative spirit

    Tech giants lead the world by allowing employees to set aside time for projects that are outside corporate purview. The innovations they produce may lead to incremental improvements or go so far as to disrupt entire industries.

    Therefore, it would pay to be open to new solutions recommended by IT specialists. They are the ones who are on the pulse of transformational technologies that may benefit your business.

  5. Let data affirm IT-business alignment

    One of the best ways to ensure IT-business alignment is to consistently measure how IT contributes to desired business outcomes. For example, you must verify if migrating systems from on-premises servers to the cloud indeed reduced instances of downtime during periods of exceptionally high web traffic.

    But more than delving into and sharing their own key performance indicators, IT leaders must also have access to business metrics. This enables them to assess how well they are supporting operations and ultimately contributing to the bottom line.

    Let’s say a grocery chain’s goal is to increase sales by enabling curbside pickup for online customers. Therefore, IT must observe if the tools they’ve developed to ensure accurate and timely order fulfillment work sufficiently, surpass expectations, or need improvement.

Businesses in Kansas City and beyond rely on Umbrella for IT solutions that are completely aligned with their goals. To discover how we can help you leverage tech to achieve your own objectives, schedule a FREE consultation with us today.

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