More and more IT managers are focused on getting the IT team in lockstep with its business strategies and initiatives. Critical objectives are to use technology to improve productivity, efficiency and customer service. Gaining alignment is challenging for all IT operations, but particularly when there are multiple facilities and especially so for global enterprises. Maintaining or improving service levels across multiple countries requires developing one global, functionally aligned team.
Accomplishing that means sharing best practices, systems and tools from different business units and operations around the world, while reducing redundancies. No small task. A primary IT operating objective then becomes to leverage economies of scale and global purchasing power.
Some of the challenges with alignment directly impact IT spending. A study reported in Forbes.com found that companies spend 7.4% of revenue on IT when executives view IT as an enabler to growth, but companies spend only 4.7% of revenue on technology when it is perceived as an inhibitor.
When companies believe in technology as an enabler, they spend 42% of budgets on new systems, but that figure drops to 30% when companies don't believe in IT as a growth engine.
This translates to the need for IT to do a better job of explaining its business contribution and how it is more than a support function. At the same time, business managers and financial officers need to become as tech savvy as possible to appreciate the efficiencies IT offers the enterprise overall. This happens when CIO’s and IT directors help to drive strategic planning and alignment in the business, which leads to better governance of IT.
When companies have a high number of high-value business initiatives (IT enabled or otherwise), the optimal way for IT to obtain the financial resources it requires, is for all the business stakeholders to agree on what is most important. So who then will lead in the way in developing the cohesiveness within executive group?
That job is increasing flowing to, or should be flowing to, the senior IT managers. It does not always work that for many CIOS however, but when it does it is the CIO who identifies the problem/solution model. As was pointed out in CIO.com, these CIOs are uniquely positioned to view the business in this cross-functional, process-oriented, holistic way. They are uniquely positioned to think about and lead discussions on IT-enabled strategy and process change.
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PlanITROI helps its clients with IT and business alignment by providing all the data necessary to make informed decisions about IT asset current and projected values, refresh cycle optimization, desired environmental impact and benefits, lease returns management, warranty extensions and more.
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