Every company focuses on developing strategies to grow their revenue, reduce costs and analyze customer satisfaction.
An overall objective is defined which then translates into the approaches to be taken by the specific units in the company such as marketing, finance, sales, products and services, human resources and others.
But, what about the IT department? The conundrum often resolves around how the IT department will integrate and utilize their resources in achieving this plan.
The problem is that each unit comes up individually with what they perceive what they will need from the IT department to achieve their respective goals. Each of these units will want to prioritize their own particular goals, leaving the IT leadership with the monumental task of sorting out how to attain all of these goals collectively.
Unfortunately, many CIO’s also adopt the company approach that the only important strategy is the business strategy. This doesn’t make a lot of sense because if the marketing or sales department has adopted a particular strategy, it is equally vital that the CIO also develop an IT strategy that reflects how it will encompass all the IT objectives of the other departments.
The first step to implement a sound IT strategy should be to ensure that the IT infrastructure involving both personnel and systems are sufficient to meet all the needs of the other departments.
An effective IT department should consider the following approaches in fulfilling the following 3 roles simultaneously:
- Understand the overall financial objectives of the company
- Identify the IT objectives of the different departments they need to fulfill their role in achieving the financial objectives of the company
- Develop an IT strategy that coordinates its role in fulfilling the requirements of all the individual departments on a priority and need basis
This can be a difficult ball to juggle as resources have to be prioritized first to achieve this task. The IT department can better coordinate its own strategic approach by implementing the following:
- Involve the IT department to directly participate with the leadership teams to fully understand their individual unit strategies and how and what they need to achieve their particular goals
- Identify and clarify the IT solutions required to achieve these goals
- The CIO and IT team should then develop a basic framework to align their approach and plan to satisfy the IT needs of other departments while considering options to satisfy the proposed plans of the other departments
- Develop a common framework relevant to the strategic approach that has been proposed and developed by each department which outlines how the IT department will prioritize and develop what it needs to do to achieve these objectives.
To make this process flow more smoothly, the CIO could achieve this more readily by appointing a BIO (Business Information Officer) where one or more of these Business Information Officers could be assigned to sit in on the strategy sessions of the individual departments, and be the IT liaison person between that the department and the CIO.
These days, your business is only as good as how well you utilize the resources of your IT department. At Aurora Technical Consulting we can show you how to make the most effective use of your IT department. Call us (208) 936-7616 or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org today and develop the IT resources your company needs to succeed.