IT departments are critical to most modern businesses. These days, organizations can’t even operate, much less succeed, without the support of their IT departments. But the sad truth is that many times, business leadership and IT are not at all aligned.
It can sometimes feel like the IT department inhabits an entirely different world than the rest of the business. Business stakeholders and the IT department almost speak two different languages. They speak past each other, they have different concerns.
CFOs are sometimes asked to approve substantial IT purchases they do not understand and do not have the background or knowledge to evaluate. Is this purchase a good value? Does it match the strategic direction of the business? Did IT adequately consider alternatives? Often the CFO tasked with approving the IT department’s requests cannot sufficiently evaluate the request.
IT departments can sometimes tend toward maintaining the status quo. They often aren’t aware of the company’s key strategic initiatives. IT leadership, while wonderful at managing their departments, sometimes do not have a great business sense. They are not always cost conscious and sometimes are not strategic in their planning.
This is not always the case, but it is common.
What are the reasons for this frequent disconnect between IT and business stakeholders? Often IT leaders and business stakeholders have had different incentives for their entire careers. Business stakeholders have been rewarded for initiative and growing revenue. IT leaders have been rewarded for “keeping things working as they currently are.”
But whatever the reasons, the important question is, “How can this disconnect between IT and business leadership be remedied?”
One way is through our Strategic Transformation Alignment Framework (STAF) – a program designed to align IT and business objectives. This program provides a multidisciplinary view into current and future technology needs in relation to business objectives.
We conduct business and IT stakeholder interviews. We analyze IT-related capital and operational spending over the past 3 years. We review your vendor management process and contracts. We perform financial and operational data benchmarking.
At the end of the STAF program, you will have an 18-24-month roadmap of what you need to do so that your IT and business goals are aligned. You will have our suggested skill mix requirements for your current and future state, process improvement opportunities, benchmark analysis, and a complete evaluation of your IT data, spend, and metrics.
You will gain confidence that your IT department is ready and able to support your organization’s strategic goals and is spending its budget and resources on things that move the business forward.
Even companies with excellent and business-savvy IT leadership can benefit from having an independent third-party outsider perspective. If you are at a transformational moment for your IT department or your company direction, the STAF program can be a particularly useful investment to ensure that the transition moves your business toward its goals.
Want to find out more about whether STAF can be right for your company?