Business imperatives can become urgent quickly, tempting decision-makers to chase the latest hardware or software they believe will accelerate their success. However, after years of piecing together disparate devices and applications, savvy executives understand that adding technology for its own sake will not grow your organization. When deployed haphazardly, even the latest technical innovations can impede your progress.
The bottom line is, you cannot meet business goals through technology alone. Instead, you need a carefully planned strategy that aligns the right technology with your business goals and objectives. In an era of increasing competition, strained budgets, and high customer expectations, aligning strategy and technology is vital to today’s enterprise.
Benefits of Alignment
The goal of aligning business processes with carefully chosen technology is to optimize and build on the value of each. An organization with a thoughtfully crafted alignment plan enjoys:
· Streamlined workflows resulting from the implementation of appropriate and complementary technologies.
· Strong working relationships between IT-focused employees, product and services specialists, and other staff.
· Innovative solutions that heighten productivity, increase efficiency, and improve business workflows across all departments.
· Support from key company executives for further implementation of technology solutions
· Company-wide appreciation and support for how technology contributes to the success of the company.
Developing Your Plan
When aligning your business processes with new or updated technology solutions, ensure that your plan includes these critical elements:
· Have a detailed understanding of all your business processes and workflows.
· Discuss and decide on your organization’s technology imperatives, as well as a “wish list.”
· Scour the market for interoperable technologies with the potential to optimize resources.
· Develop a technology vision and mission that will help you meet your business goals.
· Set conditions and measurements that will determine when alignment goals are met.
One of today’s biggest technology drivers – and greatest business challenges – is the escalation of cloud-based services. Employees expect the same easy access to data at the office as they have on their smartphones and tablets. Unfortunately, budgets are limited and expenses must be justified. That’s why it’s important to clearly articulate the business opportunities afforded by hosted services, interoperable applications, and data mobility. This article in Forbes magazine online offers interesting information about benefits, risks, and other considerations related to aligning business and IT in the age of cloud computing.
After Your Alignment
Once you’ve achieved alignment, don’t just sit back! It is important to reevaluate your alignment strategy at least once a year, and any time the company reorganizes or changes course. Remaining in alignment can make the difference between realizing your organization’s potential or falling behind due to negligence.
At iSeek Solutions, we specialize in guiding companies through the business strategy / technology alignment process. Regardless of your industry, whether corporate or nonprofit, our staff has the experience and expertise to conduct an evaluation, make recommendations, and work closely with your employees throughout the process. Let us know if we can help!
Annie Allen is President and CEO at iSeek Solutions, Inc.
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