Did you know that highly aligned companies not only generate more revenue and growth but are also more profitable? According to a report, organizational alignment helps companies grow revenue by 58% while generating 72% more profit as compared to their non-aligned counterparts.
Despite this, we see a lot of disagreement between different functional units. For instance, business and IT do not seem to go well with one another when it comes to aspects like purchasing cheap dedicated server hosting or bringing stability. IT objectives sometimes do not match with the business’ goals, which creates friction. How can you bring both on a single wavelength so your business can grow? That is exactly what we will cover in this article.
Here are six effective ways to bring IT and business on the same page.
What is IT-Business Alignment?
Before you try to bring business and IT on the same page, it is imperative that you understand what IT-business alignment is all about. It is basically a term used to refer to internal coordination in an organization where IT objectives are brought in line with the business goals of the company. Tools like a business plan builder, will help to align business with IT easily. When there is such an alignment, you can create a highly focused IT strategy that can fulfill the needs of all the key stakeholders and help business in achieving the business objectives with rapid innovation.
6 Ways To Bring IT and Business on the Same Page
Below are six strategies you can use it to create alignment between IT and business units.
Lack of trust can lead to a host of issues. It can lead to skepticism, misunderstandings and even conflict between business and IT. This can have devastating consequences for your business. It can make your teams less productive and reduce the tolerance level and patience.
You need to gain trust and make decisions with confidence in tough situations. You can only become confident when all functional units are on the same page. In order to build trust, you need to consistently deliver on your promises to build credibility and rapport. That is when you can really win the confidence of the other party.
Develop Close Business Relationships
Organizations need to encourage cross departmental collaboration instead of encouraging silos. This allows employees from different functional units to develop relationships with other employees who are not part of their department but are part of their organization.
The stronger the relationship between employees, the better will be the coordination between different functional units. This can have a positive impact on the overall productivity and efficiency of your organization. More importantly, it will make your organization more resilient to setbacks and enable them to handle tough situations in a much better way.
Your employees will have a sense of community and think that all of the employees are in it at the same time so they don’t feel like they are facing hardship alone. This gives them strength to overcome any obstacle, no matter how big it might be. Simply put, the stronger the bond between employees, the better it is for your organization.
Have a Rotation Policy
Yes, this might seem counterproductive but, in reality, it works well when it comes to creating business-IT alignment. Encourage IT employees to work in the business side of your company and make your business team familiar with the IT department. This will make it easy for them to understand the challenges and hurdles other departments face on a day to day basis. The objective of this exercise should be to encourage cross departmental learning. What’s more, you can even extend this initiative to other functional units.
For instance, you can ask a marketing executive to sit with a developer. This will not only bridge the divide between different functional units, bring them closer to one another. In addition to this, it will broaden the horizon of your employees and help them experience and learn new things. This will not only help them contribute towards your organization but it can also help in their professional career development.
Keep an Eye On Key Metrics
To best measure how effective your efforts really are, you need to set benchmarks and monitor key performance indicators. These metrics can not only tell you about the effectiveness but can also provide you with useful insights about the gaps you need to fill and weaknesses you need to overcome. Not only that, but it can also help you create IT alignment with your business’ needs. Make sure both IT and business metrics are monitored and the data is visible to both functional units to ensure transparency. This minimizes the risk of misunderstandings and wrong assumptions and keeps you on track.
Most organizations who wants to create alignment between IT and business look at it as a project with a deadline. Instead, they should treat it as an open ended project with flexible deadlines. Conduct continuous assessment on areas like customer communication to ensure that everything is going according to the plan.
Begin by checking the approach of your IT team. If things proceed as planned, you can accelerate the process. Take control of your business processes so you can fix minor issues before they can turn into a bigger problem. Constantly evaluating the effectiveness of your process will help you improve them on a regular basis, which eventually leads to better outcomes.
Learn From Data
There are instances when your employees are not clear about the vision and mission, key priorities, strategies and challenges. You can easily know about it by conducting surveys. Design surveys in such a way that they are open ended. Let’s say, you are conducting a survey from business people. You could ask them what steps IT can take in order to take to help them achieve business goals. This will give your IT team a clear direction to move in. Focus on collecting qualitative feedback as it is much more valuable as compared to quantitative feedback.
How do you create alignment between IT and business in your organization? Share it with us in the comments section below.