Digital transformation – An essential need for running businesses successfully; it provides a competitive edge to businesses over competitors
Digital transformation in Information Technology (IT) and business alignment seems to be improving but some important factors are required to be considered
Information Technology (IT) is an essential element for business. IT and business alignment collaboratively help the organizations to get a competitive edge. It is important to have alignment and communication between an organization’s business leaders and IT leaders. Business stakeholders need to understand the role and dependency of business operations in the field of IT. Information Technology is evidently present in different business operations that link with presence in a business transaction, finances, marketing, production, supply chain, and customer relationship management that are essential functions for the business. Business leaders have realized the importance of IT for increasing production and understanding that technology plays a vital role in better decision making and organizational management.
A major problem in this alignment was because of the time taken by the business leader to recognize the role of IT leaders in every strategic and enterprise decision. Important factors of IT and business alignment failure are the following:
High Paced Progress of Digital Transformation
Technology is advancing at a progressive rate. It is becoming important for organizations to keep up with the progressing pace of technological evolution and digital transformation. The employees must be provided with the latest technology to generate revenue for the organization. Change in technology is not only a concern for employees but it is also integral for the stakeholders. The individuals need to accept technological change and make a decision regarding the use of a particular technological tool that is most effective for their organization.
Continuous change in the organization’s IT infrastructure and its business alignment can cause panic and confusion in the organization creating uncertainty between IT and business goals. Digital transformation is a difficult question and needs to be handled carefully with all the factors into consideration. Some important factors that need to be considered are the following:
- Employee’s capabilities
- Technology trends
- Competitors assessment
- Scope of the current technology etc.
The rapid change in the organization’s technological needs are required to be monitored and must only be slowed down with a clear understanding of IT, business and their roles.
IT an Essential and Challenging Part Of a Business
Initially, IT was not considered as an essential element in business performance and its operations. IT leaders were not involved in the major projects and its technology-related discussions but with the passage of time and changing technological trends the tables have turned dramatically. IT consultation is now involved in every project and the first query is associated with technological usage involved in the project handling. All the IT-related decisions are now made with the consultation of IT leaders making them involved in every strategic level decision. Every industry is dependent on technology and it is important for IT professionals to continuously produce business assistive decisions that are backed by relevant technologies.
Lack of Communication Skill in IT Leaders and Professionals
Soft leadership and communication skills are important for IT leaders. Previously communication skills were not considered important for IT professionals but with the passage of time, IT personnel were trained to communicate effectively. The role of IT professionals is increasing from just taking orders, understand the requirements and producing the output as required from them. IT leaders are required to understand the business well so that they can provide the necessary IT-focused feedback that is beneficial for the organization. Through better communication skills IT leaders can establish a say in the organization and convince other business leaders about the importance of IT, changing trends, and its incorporation in the projects. Appropriate tools required for a particular project that can compete with the market trend is also an essential requisite of strong communication. It is necessary for IT individuals and leaders to communicate in the same language as other business leaders to make them understand better regarding the technicalities of the project. IT leaders can improve this communication gap by understanding the business goals and objectives.
Digital Transformation: A New Era for the Same Process
IT improvement and digital transformation is a continuous process and is important for organizations progress. It needs to be taken seriously, if not then the organization is likely to fall behind in the competition. Generally, in an organization IT improvement starts with problem-solving and its maintenance.
The major drawback of IT and business alignment is the communication gap and avoidance of correct metrics for measuring any problem. IT and business stakeholders have realized this issue and have worked on improving the communication between the business operational units. IT was initially used by organizations on the departmental level where all departments had their own allocated budget for IT improvement, but the resultant was a decentralized IT system in the organization. Data and information of the organization were isolated at the departmental level which holds back important information to help the stakeholders in taking strategic business decisions that enable gaining control of operations at the managerial level. It is for these reasons, the decentralized system is changed into a centralized IT system. Centralized IT system of an organization has centralized the data and provides consolidated and integrated information for making a strategic decision on enterprise and department level.