Why You Should Win Over Your IT Team

Man at a computer in a yellow shirt smiling back at the camera

It is widely recognized that technology plays a vital role in achieving long-term success. Organizations must incorporate technology in their businesses at every level. Embracing technology within your business strategy increases efficiency, enhances productivity, and increases profitability. By aligning technology with your overall business strategy, you lay the foundation for sustained success and growth which positions your business to thrive in an increasingly digital world.

What Does IT-Business Alignment Look Like?

In the modern business landscape, information technology has emerged as a pivotal component for achieving success. With IT forming the core of your business processes, it is imperative to ensure that the tools and software you employ align with your business goals.

To accomplish this, it is essential to establish better IT-business alignment, where your IT strategy harmonizes with your overall business strategy. This alignment enables you to ensure that the technology you employ propels your team towards organizational goals and enhances operational efficiency.

While IT plays a crucial role in maintaining existing business operations, successful organizations aim to drive their business forward by developing new strategies and products which enhance the customer experience. Organizing your IT group in a manner that ensures business strategy and objectives become core deliverables for the organization. This can be accomplished by establishing liaisons between the IT and business departments, individuals who possess a deep understanding of both the business and technology. Internal and external consultants can also be valuable assets in facilitating this alignment.

In today’s highly competitive landscape, it is essential to adopt a tech-enabled business approach. If your competitors develop better technologies or delivery methods for your target market, are you prepared to adapt? Consider the role of your IT department. Is the focus simply to maintain existing systems’ availability? Or are you also relying on them to build and deliver innovative solutions? If the role of IT remains supporting your existing systems, then it is crucial to determine who will deliver new innovative solutions that align with the organization's strategic goals. This can often be done through working with other vendors or integration partners who can provide expertise.

To foster stronger alignment, it is beneficial to embed individuals with technical expertise within the business departments and vice versa. This cross-pollination of skills and knowledge helps bridge the gap between technology and business, enabling a more comprehensive understanding of how they intertwine. By doing so, organizations can maximize the innovation potential and create an environment where technology acts as an enabler for business success.

Benefits of Alignment 

Not only does aligning your IT with your business functions help you become leaner and innovative, but it also helps your teams work together more efficiently.

Improves Cross-Departmental Collaboration

By making information technology a key component of your business strategy, it empowers you to identify the most suitable platforms not just for individual departments, but for the entire organization. This alignment enables you to streamline workflows and enhance collaboration among teams by selecting platforms and software that foster efficient problem-solving and project management.

Aligning technology with your business strategy also allows you to identify areas within different departments that can benefit from automation. By automating these processes, you simplify and expedite operations, freeing up valuable time for teams to focus on higher-value tasks.

To ensure a successful selection process for the right technology solutions, running pilot programs among different departments will help quantify the benefits available through its use. Ultimately your IT department can establish company-wide procedures and standards to ensure consistency, security, and efficiency across the organization. 

Makes It Easier to Choose the Right Tool

With so many different tools on the market today, it’s important to remember that not all powerful tools are the right fit for your business. Aligning IT and business strategies enables you to identify processes that could benefit from new technology more effectively.

Being aligned helps streamline workflows, automation, and consolidation. This ensures that the tech choices you make are in line with your overall business goals, helping you avoid investing in tools that may appear impressive but do not contribute significantly to your objectives.

Furthermore, technology alignment prompts an evaluation of your current tech stack to determine if the existing tools in your organization are effectively supporting your goals. IT helps identify particular issues such as tool redundancy, or tools that are no longer being used due to their complexity or inefficiency. With this understanding, you can initiate research to explore better solutions that align more closely with your needs.

Innovation often occurs at the fringes, so to fully leverage this potential, it’s important to provide support to the teams working on the fringes, which today involves hiring data scientists and AI experts. These professionals possess the competencies required to drive innovative initiatives and explore cutting-edge technologies. By investing in such talent, organizations can stay at the forefront of technological advancements and gain a competitive edge.

Each organization ultimately needs to decide what kind of business they are when it comes to technological innovation. Assess whether your organization is an early adopter, actively embracing new technologies, or prefers a more cautious “wait and see” approach. Understanding your organization's preferred stance toward technology adoption helps guide decision-making, ensuring that your technology choices align with your overall business strategy.

Better Use of Time and Resources

Tech bloat can be a burdensome and expensive problem for businesses, often hindering team productivity rather than improving it. However, Tech bloat is overcome when you can identify valuable programs while eliminating unnecessary or redundant ones, saving cost and enhancing efficiency.

Efficiency and new capabilities lie at the core of technology adoption. This principle applies to both technology and business strategies, as they are not conflicting but rather complementary forces. Embracing technology enables organizations to accomplish more with limited resources, especially in times of inflation or when the need to do more with less arises. Technology serves as the means to achieve greater efficiency, cost savings, and enhanced capabilities, empowering businesses to thrive in challenging environments.

Ensuring Alignment

As you work to align your IT with your business, there are a few things you can do to make sure your technology is supporting you moving forward.

  1. Understanding Who You Are. Understanding what kind of organization you are, your goals and your objectives will dictate how you structure your organization, including your IT organization. Understanding what you lack and what outside resources you need to bring in, is also important. And finally, understand where you sit in relation to your competition!
  2. Ask Questions. You might not know as much about your IT group as its department head does, but that person probably doesn’t know as much about the business as you do. It’s critical to create a collaborative environment where both sides can ask questions to get to the appropriate solution. Don’t assume you know everything, and understand the “why”.  
  3. Measuring Expectations. How do you measure your expected results, and then adjust when you don’t hit them? You need to track technology performance to know if it’s working for you or holding you back. Choose KPIs for each system and determine your benchmarks, then track those metrics to see if they meet your expectations.

Business and IT Working in Harmony

In today’s technology-driven world, integrating technology into your overall business strategy unlocks numerous benefits, including increased efficiency, enhanced productivity, and improved profitability. 

Aligning your IT and business strategies helps you make strategic technology choices, avoiding tech bloat and unnecessary expenses. It prompts you to assess your current tech stack, identifying areas for improvement. Additionally, it encourages innovation by supporting teams on the fringes and empowering them with the right talent and expertise.

At EnterBridge, we specialize in creating custom software solutions for businesses. Learn more about what we can do and how it benefits your business in our blog The Beginner’s Guide to Custom Software Development.

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