Enterprise IT and the goals of your business

In a technologically driven world, it’s no surprise that technology is an important factor in the future success of your business, regardless of the sector or location you work in. Use of systems and tools makes your business run more efficiently and can change what you do and how you do it. On face value, the types of business goals you might set may themselves seem separate and unrelated to IT goals, though research has proven differently.
The white paper ‘Understanding How Business Goals Drive IT Goals’ in 2008 made an intrinsic link between enterprise IT and business planning. The report found that if the link can be made between business and IT goals, scalability and growth can be achieved. Here is more information about how you can plan in advance for growth by linking these two areas within your company.

Making Links Between Goals

Altogether 158 business and IT professionals over 5 different sectors of industry were consulted in the research for the white paper. The study led to a list of 10 business and IT goals being sited as the biggest priority for growth. Generally speaking, there is a consensus as to which business and IT goals are the most important across different sectors of industry.
Interestingly the top IT goal is ‘align the IT strategy to the business strategy’ thus highlighting that businesses are already self-aware that linking IT goals with business goals will lead to good things. What’s more, IT goals can specifically support business goals. For example, ‘improve customer orientation and service’ can be supported by ‘provide service offerings and service levels in line with business requirements’. By making these links, businesses can create scalability and growth.

Personalising Goals

The white paper provides practical guidelines for businesses on how to build business and IT goals that are specific to their organisation. Not everything will apply to you and some goals might need adapting to specific situations, however the goals are surprisingly interrelated between different sectors of industry. Further information is provided relating to different sectors and geographical location to make personalisation even easier.
To create a situation where there is a business and technological alignment, communication needs to take place between the key stakeholders in IT and business decisions within your company. This may mean key business executives visiting the tech and support department, and vice versa, so a mutual understanding of limitations and achievements can be reached. From these interactions, business and IT goals can be formulated with the company’s specific needs in mind.

Sustainability and long-term success

The sustainability of working in this way will depend on the long term IT and business strategies that are put in place. By planning in advance, goals can be reviewed and adjusted to meet the needs of the company. So long as communication is upheld between key departments, the business and IT link within the company’s goals can be sustained and built on as time goes by.
The beauty of the white paper is that there are many goals to choose from so you can create a model that suits your business. Over time these can be used in line with the scalability of your company, thus creating a situation where you are always moving forwards towards the next set of goals.
The white paper provides a great starting point for creating an alignment between business and IT goals. The research identified 17 general business goals and 18 general IT goals over 5 business sectors. The 10 most important ones are then sited from these goals to hone in even more on the steps that should be taken.
Sector and geographic deviations are also taken into account to further support companies in setting linked business and IT goals. This research therefore offers much of the needed information for creating a business plan that will lead to growth and the future success of your business.