More and more executives these days are becoming conscious about the strategic weight of Technology in terms of providing the value and cut-throat edge to their companies in the fast-paced business arena. Such realizations come more into focus when we talk about the practical implications of connecting technology and business objectives where it may call into question not only cost and complexity but also increase the rate of technology change, sources, and competition.
This may sound uncomplicated in terms of designing it on paper. However, putting it prudently into practice is not simple, as it requires valuable processes and better management of technology in business as well as systems to make sure that technological resources are matched with business needs. Not only to cope with current demand but for the future needs of the business as well.
BACS believes no matter what technology is planned to be introduced into company networks, it must be seen as assisting other business processes such as communications, public and customer relations, etc., and its implementation must be aligned with business strategy and ongoing development.
Elements of Business-Technology Alignment
When we talk about important elements of technology, then we come across with the sense that these elements distinguish technology from ordinary understanding to precise understanding of how companies can adopt and adapt to new technologies.
Obtaining awareness about connecting technology and business objectives and accommodating it for its effective use is crucial, as technical know-how of any technology consists of both overt and unspoken knowledge. This overt know-how can be explained and applied, whether in a form of report, process or user manual, together with the physical equipment.
However, sometimes technological knowledge cannot be easily expressed or even attained, which demands training and understanding regarding obtaining different skills according to the need of tech application in the workplace. As with the technology per se, we can align technology to business in a way that concentrates on effectual recognition, selection, getting hold of development, utilization, and shielding of technology needed to support a certain market or niche in conformity with a company’s certain objectives.
So, technology as an appendage to business can uphold the link between the resources and objectives of your company and this requires suitable processes and tools sustained by effective management and communication – one of our specialties at BACS.
A Brief History of Technology and Business Integration
Starting in the early 1980s with the first desktop computers, information technology has played an important part in the U.S. and global economies. Companies rely on IT for fast communications, data processing, and market intelligence. IT plays an integral role in every industry, helping companies improve business processes, achieve cost efficiencies, drive revenue growth and maintain a competitive advantage in the marketplace – making connecting technology and business objectives more urgent than ever before.
Information technology can speed up the time it takes new products to reach the market. Companies can write product requirement documents by gathering market intelligence from proprietary databases, customers, and sales representatives. Computer-assisted design and manufacturing software speed up decision making, while collaborative technologies allow global teams to work on different components of a product simultaneously. From innovations in microprocessors to efficient drug delivery systems, information technology helps businesses respond quickly to changing customer requirements.
Stakeholder integration is another important objective of information technology and business alignment. Using global 24/7 interconnectivity, a customer service call originating in Des Moines, Iowa, ends up in a call center in Manila, Philippines, where a service agent could look up the relevant information on servers based in corporate headquarters in Dallas, Texas, or in Frankfurt, Germany. Public companies do well to use their investor relations websites to communicate with shareholders, research analysts, and other market participants.
Process improvement is another key benefit of connecting technology and business objectives in IT environments. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems allow managers to review sales, costs and other operating metrics on one integrated software platform, usually in real time. An ERP system may replace dozens of legacy systems for finance, human resources, and other functional areas, thus making internal processes more efficient and cost-effective.
Although the initial IT implementation costs can be substantial, the resulting long-term cost savings are usually worth the investment in connecting technology and business objectives. IT business technology alignment allows companies to reduce transaction and implementation costs.
For example, the cost of a desktop computer today is a fraction of what it was in the early 1980s, and yet the computers are considerably more powerful. IT-based productivity solutions, from word processing to email, have allowed companies to save on the costs of duplication and postage while maintaining and improving product quality and customer service.
Cost savings, rapid product development, and process improvements help companies gain and maintain a competitive advantage in the marketplace. For example, if a smartphone competitor announces a new device with innovative touch-screen features, the competitors must quickly follow suit with similar products or risk losing market share. Companies can use rapid prototyping, software simulations, and other IT-based systems to bring a product to market cost-effectively and quickly.
Companies that survive in a competitive environment usually have the operational and financial flexibility to grow locally and then internationally. IT business and technology alignment is at the core of operating models essential for globalization, such as telecommuting and outsourcing. A company can outsource most of its noncore functions, such as human resources and finances, to offshore companies and utilize network technologies and management to stay in contact with its overseas employees, customers, and suppliers.
Relying on Frazzled CIOs, or Outsourcing a Qualified Virtual CIO?
Says Bobby Cameron, an analyst at Forrester, “CIOs can’t wait for their competitors to figure out the best technologies and be a slow follower. They have to at least be a fast follower, if not a leader in the modern world because the speed of change is so great.”
What does this statement mean for C-suite executives concerned about their capacities to evolve better business intelligence strategies?
It means they can:
- a) Worry themselves to the bone and become distracted with their CIO and IT issues; or,
- b) They can look to a qualified vCIO (virtual CIO) and IT consultant like BACS and consider the nominal expenditure an investment well made in their technology future.
The choice for many CEOs, CFOs, and other C-suite execs is clear: You must have a “fast follower” of technological advancements on your team or you’ll get left behind.
You Need Qualified Experts in Connecting Technology and Business Objectives – BACS
Ready to advance your business technology intelligence? Just call BACS today at (650) 887-4601 or contact us online for more info on how our ability to help you connect technology and business objectives can help keep you in the right business technology alignment to achieve greater levels of success!
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