Business & IT Alignment
Business and IT alignment occurs when business strategies and IT strategies are interwoven, delivering greater business value to the organization. This intimate relationship between business and IT is a delicate one, often wrought with competing interests, communication issues and a lack of mutual understanding. Fast-changing technology and dynamic business environments add to the challenge.
Attaining and sustaining business and IT alignment requires a cooperative, mutually beneficial relationship between business and IT. Credible business strategies and IT strategies alike require the involvement of both business and IT executives, and agreement must be reached on the role IT plays in the business. Is IT simply a necessity that should have minimal investment and operate as cheaply as possible? Or is IT a competitive advantage that drives innovation and has a direct impact on business profits?
At a more tactical level, business goals should drive the priority of IT services. Prioritizing IT services in accordance with business goals helps IT focus attention and resources where it is most needed to generate business value. Business-critical services, for instance, should receive more planning to minimize risks and ensure consistent delivery of those services. It is important to measure, manage and report service performance and periodically assess alignment of IT with business goals as technology and business environments change.