Aligning IT with Business Purpose
We live in a constantly changing world where technology is evolving at a rapid rate. When consulting with new clients, I often find they have misconceptions or confusion about IT. It is not unusual for them to have talked to several different IT companies or experts and got several differing pieces of advice, reinforcing that confusion. As a consultant, it is my job help business owners gain clarity and understanding, so that they can make better informed decisions.
When a client is let down by their IT team
At one time or another, most business owners have encountered an IT team who ‘talked the talk’, and successfully won the owner’s business. Faith is placed in that team who become a familiar face in the business. The trust in that team is unwavering until the technology fails to perform, or a major incident impacts the business. It then becomes apparent that while the IT team ‘talked the talk’, they did not ‘walk the walk’. The client understandably feels let down.
The IT team is not aligning IT with business purpose. This is usually true if the IT team operates to ‘break-fix’ and/or ‘box mover’ models. They may work in Information Technology, but fail to comprehend the purpose of IT or the required outcomes. Business outcomes, not the technology, are what matter most.
The purpose of IT as it applies to Business: Intelligence and Time
The automation of business processes for the enhancing of Intelligence and creation of Time, resulting in better outcomes for customers and the world as a whole.
Information for information sake is a waste of time and money. Information is only of use if it leads to better understanding, better decisions, and better outcomes. If it achieves this, you could consider this information to be Intelligence and positive application of the information Intelligent.
A good measure of intelligence is to look at both short and long-term consequences, and consider whether those consequences align with the client’s purposes and ultimately their customers’ needs and experiences. Specifically, is the result of the data use positive, beneficial, and does it lead to better outcomes?
Application of Intelligence should result in better outcomes that not only enrich and enhance the customer experience, but also contribute to the world as a whole. Doing good, while doing business, is a desirable value for any company to have, and an important component of Intelligence.
More Time is a by-product of better understanding, of being better organised and efficient, resulting in achieving more with less. Having more time is something everyone wants. Technology and automation correctly applied to business will reduce time, effort, and energy required to achieve the same or better productivity, while maintaining or improving the quality of outcome.
However, not all business technology is automatically good. The wrong technology or the incorrect use of the right technology may, in the long-term, consume more time and/or lead to unwanted or unintended consequences. It is therefore important to have a robust technology strategy, underpinned by principles, standards, and, of course, the business strategy.
Intelligence and Time Outcomes
Intelligence and Time should be major factors in any technology strategy, and also used as attitude and emphasis indicators for what we do in IT.
To get the most out of your IT, don’t think Information Technology. Think Intelligence and Time.
Ask your IT company whether any technology introduced will:
- Actually produce intelligence you can use to improve, or will it drown you in lots of redundant data?
- Increase productivity and create time, or will it become a time soak?
- Increase reliability and security, the loss of which will consume more time?
- Make a positive difference to the world, both now and in the future?
It is crucial that you engage the services of a good technology strategist to help manage your IT, and ensure that you get the best results for your business. To assess whether your existing IT company is aligning IT with your business purpose, talk to us now.