IT is a tightly integrated part of business- the goals technology seeks to accomplish are often the same as the company itself. What it really comes down to is that IT initiatives should align with business goals to provide the context and channels for organization-wide success.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common goals in Business and IT and how they interact with each other.
Improve Customer Service: Today’s buyers appreciate good customer service and expect companies to provide it. Companies that are rude, aggressive, or simply hard to deal with are abandoned. IT supports this by helping to smooth the flow of information between companies and customers.
Ensure Compliance With Regulations: Businesses that don’t comply with legal regulations are likely to get fined (or worse, shut down). Accordingly, making sure they’re in compliance is one of their top goals. This is even more true for the payment security standards, which are what allow businesses to accept payments in the first place. IT supports this by allowing for quick changes whenever a new regulatory mandate is issued, as well as supporting the regulations that are already established.
Establish Service Continuity And Availability: If customers can’t get access to the products and services offered by the company, they’re not going to interact with that brand. Ensuring customers can actually interact with either the products or services an organization offers is one of the most basic principles of business, and comes before almost any other consideration. IT supports this by enabling sales to be made in a way that doesn’t depend on the availability of personnel, but technology.
Support Business Initiatives: Information Technology can do almost anything it needs to, but supporting important business goals is one of the most critical reasons it exists. By giving IT a direction and a destination, everyone involved has a goal they can understand.
Deliver Projects On-Time And On-Budget: Organizations have limited budgets and resources to work with, and often can’t go past spending a certain amount on any given project. Business goals support this by defining the length of a project and how much money can be invested in it. In turn, the IT team can clarify any concerns up-front and help the company’s decision makers understand what goals are (and aren’t) reasonable.
Business and IT goals often intersect to support each other. There is no point in setting IT goals without having a business initiative to direct them, and likewise, there’s no point in setting a business goal that IT can’t help meet. As such, it’s vital that Management and IT personnel talk with each other on a regular basis.
Goals for the company should never be decided without input from the people responsible for implementing them. The more management understand what can be done – and the more IT personnel understand how much support they’ll have in the process – the easier it will be to set realistic goals and keep the company on-track for success.