The Importance of Business and IT Alignment

Written by Tecwyn Hill | 4 min read
Published on: June 7th 2018 - Last modified: November 13th, 2020
Business and It Alignment

Information Technology enables business and business drives IT. Globally successful organizations are those that create one unified team from these seemingly disparate silos. Business and IT alignment melds knowledge, skills, and resources so you can work smarter, not harder.

Business and IT Alignment: The Rate of Change

Information Technology is continuing to challenge the way companies organize their business processes, communicate with customers and potential customers, and deliver their services. Although there is no single dominant re-organization strategy, common company structures all lean towards decentralizing IT, shifting it closer to end-users and melding the knowledge-base to business strategy. Business and IT alignment is vital for market impact and growth.

This tactic means as business goals pivot, IT can more readily respond with necessary solutions to support and maintain enterprise momentum. In turn, technological advances and improvements are hardwired into current and future strategies and initiatives. As working ecosystems replace strict organizational structures, the traditional question “Which department do you work in?” has been replaced by, “How do you work?”

Business and IT Alignment: Strategy

This continuous strategic loop means enterprises function better, make more profit, and see better ROI because they hit their goals with less effort. And while there may be no standard way to align successfully, an organization where IT and business strategy are in lock-step can improve agility and operational efficiencies.

In fact, such is the importance of this synergy, successful companies are those that dive deeper. Amazon and Apple are prime examples—of course technology is integrated and aligned within their operational structure. In several cases, they created the integral technology and business strategies themselves!

Business and IT Alignment: Convergence and Integration

These type of aligned companies have increased the efficiency of technology investments and significantly reduced the financial and operational risks associated with business and technical change.

However, if this rate of change and business flux is as fast as we continually say, we need to be talking about convergence and integration, not just alignment. In other words, let’s do the research and learn, but empower next level thinking so we can focus on the co-creation of “true value” and respond quicker to customers and users.

Without this granular strategy, companies may spend too much on technology without ever solving the business challenges they face due to different departmental objectives, cultures, and incentives. Simply put, business and IT alignment integrates technology with the strategy, mission, and goals of an organization.

The benefits of better synchronization between business and IT allow us to approach the competitor chain differently.

For example:

  • Faster time-to-market
  • Increased profitability
  • Better customer experience
  • Improved collaboration
  • Greater industry and IT agility
  • Strategic technological transformation

Hot Topic: View webcast recording Empowering Collaboration Between Business and IT, with Fabio Gammerino, Signavio Pre-Sales Consultant.

Four Steps to Better Business and IT Alignment

While it may seem intuitive, many organizations struggle to achieve the elusive goal of business and IT alignment. This is not only because alignment is a cumbersome and lengthy process, but because the overall process is made up of many smaller sub-processes. Each of these sub-processes lacks a definitive start and ending point. Instead, each one comprises some “learn and do” cycles that incrementally connect.

These cycles aren’t simple fixes, and this explains why issues still exist in the modern digital world. But by establishing a common language, building internal business relationships, ensuring transparency, and developing precise corporate plans of action, the bridge between the two stabilizes.

These four steps can enable you to position your business and IT alignment strategies:

  • Plan: Translate business objectives into measurable IT services, so resources are effectively allocated to maximize turnover and ROI - This step requires ongoing communication between business and IT leaders.
  • Model: IT designs infrastructure to increase business value and optimize operations - IT must understand business needs and ensure that they are implementing systems critical to business services.
  • Manage: Service is delivered based on company objectives and expectations - IT must act as a single point-of-service request, and prioritize those requests based on pre-defined priorities.
  • Measure: Improvement of cross-organization visibility and service level commitments - While metrics are essential, it is crucial that IT ensures a business context to what they are measuring and keeps a clear relationship between the measured parameter and business goals.

Being in the Know

Temporarily rotating IT employees within business operations is also a top strategy in reaching business and IT alignment because it circulates company knowledge. This cross-pollination encourages better relationships between the IT department and other silos and broadens skill-sets, especially for entry-level employees.

Better knowledge depth gives the organization more flexibility with well-rounded employees who can fill various roles as demand arises.

How Signavio Enables Business and IT Alignment

From the get-go in 2009, Signavio has been committed to embracing innovations, enabling business success with the IT devices and working practices of today, while keeping the future in mind. SAP Signavio Process Transformation Suite translates smoothly between business and IT, facilitating data migration to–and step-by-step updates of–any ERP system, including SAP® S/4HANA.

But thanks to its support of open standards and generic application programming interfaces, Signavio's products can be integrated with any modern ERP system. For example, when migrating to SAP®, Signavio's seamless integration with SAP® Solution Manager 7.2 ensures business requirements are transferred to SAP® application management environments.

Migrating your process landscape from legacy software can also be performed with a considerable degree of automation. Automation means you accelerate business transformations without setbacks.

Empowerment Through Signavio

Signavio products empower process-oriented management, meaning your change specification and transformation roadmap is derived from actual needs, and you don’t need to compromise between IT and business managers. SAP Signavio Process Transformation Suite positions IT as a critical partner to–and an enabler of–any organizational changes or process improvements.

SAP Signavio Collaboration Hub is a Suite component that offers a centralized location for business knowledge. It eases communication and provides decision-makers with the most up-to-date data. This means any workforce can utilize IT consolidation capabilities making business reporting and company productivity more accurate, focused, and capable.

Hot Topic: View webcast recording Empowering Collaboration Between Business and IT, with Fabio Gammerino, Signavio Pre-Sales Consultant.

Trial Without Error

Discover how Signavio can put your organization on the path to business and IT excellence with SAP Signavio Process Transformation Suite. Try it for yourself by registering now for a free 30-day trial.

Published on: June 7th 2018 - Last modified: November 13th, 2020