IT Leaders Feel Out of Alignment with Businesses

IT Leaders Feel Out of Alignment with Businesses

By Greg Tavarez

Many business leaders often think IT does not invest in areas that support the organization or its goals. Small business leaders see IT only as a trusted operator maintaining computers, the network, data backup and recovery.

At the same time, IT leaders feel out of alignment with the business, believing that they could do more but are relegated to simply keeping the lights on. Info-Tech Research Group revealed in its new research-backed “Deliver an IT Strategy Engagement,” that 44% of small- and medium-sized businesses have an IT strategy process they feel is ineffective.

One reason for this is that IT leaders often react to IT problems and take on business challenges much like an order-taker. They are failing to proactively participate as a business partner or innovator.

A second reason is that IT’s contribution to the goals of the business are not always clear. They are rarely recognized. IT projects do not get priority because of the lack of budget or skills and get put on hold because of sudden changes to business requirements.

To create a business-aligned IT strategy, IT leaders must understand what the business does and what it will need:

  • Establish the scope of the client’s IT strategy. Start by stating an IT vision that meets their business mission. The IT vision should define how technology enables their business.
  • Measure business stakeholder satisfaction and identify current state of IT. A retrospective of IT’s performance helps recognize the current state while highlighting important strategic elements to address going forward.
  • Prioritize key issues and create an improvement roadmap. Elicit the business context, identify strategic initiatives that are most important to the organization, and build an actionable plan and strategy.
  • Execute planned IT improvements and key initiatives. Evaluate IT’s operational strategy, which will be required to successfully execute on key initiatives.

"When technology leaders are in full alignment with business goals, they become true business partners, participating in business growth and innovation, especially in increasingly digitally enabled businesses,” said Brijesh Kumar, research specialist at Info-Tech Research Group. 

These strategies apply to internal IT teams but, as more and more businesses look to MSPs for their IT needs, they apply even more to those IT partners and consultants. Following these guidelines, MSPs will be better equipped to align their clients’ IT vision with business vision to achieve goals. When followed, that’s when an effective, attainable IT strategy plan can be created.

Edited by Erik Linask
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MSPToday Editor

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