Establish alignment by creating a common understanding

IT Alignment

Eliminate uncomfortable business conversations by helping the organization understand how technology will be used to differentiate the business and drive innovation.

Business managers are looking for more flexibility, this is shown in the demand for easy-to-use (cloud based) applications that can be quickly deployed to take advantage of market opportunities or to solve business problems. Meanwhile, the IT organization is striving to standardization by managing a limited set of comprehensive application suites to minimize integration issues, maximize security and reduce IT costs. This seems to be a catch 22 and if these perspectives are not aligned, then they won’t help the organization achieve its goals.

Establish alignment by creating a common understanding
Aligning the business & IT organisation will start with creating a common understanding about the different roles IT (applications/systems) in the business process.

IT (applications/systems) role in business process:

  • Commodity: focus on technical standardization, operational/process highly structured, compliance and cost efficiency
  • Core business: focus on aligning with industry-specific capabilities, optimization of support for business processes, excellent service
  • Differentiation: focus on creating competitive advantage, innovative and flexibel solutions, digitization and rapid app(lication) initiatives

Three layers of IT

Based on the common understanding of the role of IT (applications/systems) in the business process the right decisions can be taken to optimal support the business needs. Have we clustered our IT services scope in line with the role of the business? Did we define the right Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s)? Is our organization organized correctly to provide the defined support?  Is the IT service/sourcing contract in line with the expected role?

By using this framework in cooperation with the business organization enables IT to be responsive to differentiated business needs. It is also a powerful translation device to address the persistent gap between IT and the business, because it provides a common, business-oriented language to define and communicate the application strategy. To truly engage, this conversation must happen in business terms and be in the context of the organization’s overall strategy.

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