Achieving and Understanding Business I.T. Alignment
What is Business I.T. Alignment? This is an important question to ask when planning for your business's future. Business I.T. Alignment uses information technology systems in a collaborative and interconnected manner across office disciplines and departments. In an ever-changing world, business and information technology will forever be connected. The potential for how far information technology can help your business grow reaches new heights every day. However, achieving this dream is a daunting task because companies cannot answer a very simple question as they embark on this alignment journey, “Where do we start?”
The first step to achieving Business I.T. Alignment is to know where information technology can help your business succeed. Whatever your business is doing, I.T. will be involved. In order to capitalize on its presence, you need a plan as to how much involvement will be needed from a third-party company, like Peak I.T. or your own I.T. division. This can include monitoring a multi-site network, offering help desk solutions, running constant data backups, providing network hardware, or a myriad of other I.T. solutions. Once you have a plan and a clear-cut vision for where I.T. will be needed, you can move on to review your current Business I.T. Alignment.
The next step should be to ask, “What is my vision for how I.T. can help my business and how is I.T. helping my business right now?” If you have a clear-cut vision from the previous step, then the first half of this should be easy. Assessing your current Business I.T. Alignment may be more difficult. If this is something your company has put off in the past, you must prioritize where I.T. can help immediately to start moving towards alignment.
Once you have prioritized where I.T. is needed, then your company can start weighing its options to achieve this alignment. Make about what options you have to solve your problems and weigh each option carefully. Some important questions to ask when considering how to solve your problems can be…
- Do you take the operation in-house or do you outsource it?
- What is the budget?
- How soon can each solution be implemented?
- What is the longevity of the solution?
Once you have all of these questions answered, your plan will be ready for implementation with a few final actions.
The last few steps in this process are to create your custom implementation plan. This is where all of your planning comes into place with the selected solutions. This should be a written out plan that clearly defines and describes the course of action for everyone involved. It will help make your team and company aware of changes taking place, and the impact it will have, both positive and negative, moving forward. Not everyone likes change and if your company is going through a big change when trying to align your business and I.T. solutions, regular meetings should take place to make sure everyone involved is comfortable, confident and compliant with the approach. A smooth transition is what every company has in mind and constant communication with a well thought out plan will help achieve this.
Even with a well thought out plan and good execution, you will have to evolve. Constant evaluation of the plan is needed in order to reach alignment and I.T. companies, like ours, can help if outsourcing this task is built into your plan. Like anything else in your company’s life, adjustments to your plan will be needed due to unforeseen changes. The decision to involve more I.T. solutions in your company in order to achieve alignment is a very important one and will soon be unavoidable. Following these steps will help your business grow with proper alignment.