Steps to integrate IT into your business
Modern businesses need to take decisive and effective action to survive in today’s ultra competitive world. Those that remain competitive are the organizations which are able to continuously adapt their strategies, operations and IT investments. However, with the rise of new paradigms like Big Data, cloud computing and mobility, fitting IT into the business equation is becoming more and more of a headache.
For CIOs, CFOs and CEOs then, the big challenge they need to overcome is finding the best way to integrate IT into their daily workflow. Organizations can only integrate IT successfully if the following conditions are met:
- An understanding of how technology and IT can contribute to business goals.
- Organizations are focused on where limited resources, money and time should be disbursed.
- A solid working relationship exists between IT staff and other areas of the business.
These conditions can all be achieved if the following steps are taken.
1: Open communication between different business departments and clients
Misunderstandings and disagreements between different business units are commonplace in any organization. In fact, it’s a sign of a healthy business. Corporate support organizations view the role of operational groups as critical to business success as they’re focused on the core competency of the company. However, the IT department is equally as critical as any operational group in delivering success. Indeed, IT is one of the only aspects of an organization that can help the entire business to become more productive.
Problems occur when IT operates in a vacuum. IT often has to undertake many initiatives in order to build a stable technology environment within an organization, and these are of no real interest to people outside of IT. Even so, the company leadership must remain aware of what IT is doing.
For example, operational managers generally do not perceive the benefits of things like system installations, network upgrades and so on, but these are critical for the company’s future success. Therefore, communication needs to focus on eliminating this kind of IT-operational gap.
2: Assess what’s needed
Most businesses can benefit from specialist IT consulting services. These days, many businesses are bringing in IT consulting firms for advice on everything from new product conceptualization to hack security and more. Hiring the services of professionals is an excellent way to understand each business department’s objectives and problems, and come up with the best IT solutions to achieve them.
Most people can look at a problem and come up with a viable solution to address it. However, in the case of technology, people’s solutions can be very different. And while there may be many adequate solutions, it may be that some of these are inappropriate for some companies.
Therefore, companies need to develop an IT plan that’s specific to their organization, and addresses the objectives identified in step two. Any IT plan must also identify which technology initiatives will be implemented, the expected benefits of these, the total cost, and how many resources will be required. Organizations also need to determine if the proposed plan meets the company’s critical needs, is prioritized appropriately, and fully supported by the IT department.