Author: Celeste Parrella (SEC Reporting and Audit Senior)
Historically, information has been a critical resource, which generates a competitive advantage. If we think about it, this concept explains why Microsoft became one of the largest companies in the world, creating the infrastructure that facilitates the processing and distribution of information.
These days, it is no news that IT is transforming and entering each activity of the value chain and that has transformed the nature of the products, processes, industries, and how to be competitive. Any IT project that is not closely tied to specific goals and measurable business results is nothing more than an empty venture.
Business and IT strategies should be strictly in sync now. None of them should work isolated and can benefit from their mutual challenges.
Business managers that have aligned IT teams with business strategies have proved that the integration is crucial to the companies’ survival and success. In this context, IT professionals have become key players, providing the capacity of updating and generating dynamic developments, and improvements, according to market demand or changes in business strategy. They have become important enablers of business strategies, such as mass customization, competitive differentiation, quality improvements, and process automation and improvement.
With the need of “more, better and faster” solutions, business demands also challenge IT capabilities forcing them to evolve and constantly innovate. This means that instead of making use of pre-defined processes or pre-configured technologies, business teams understand market pressures and force IT professionals to keep up to date and focus on responding to different business requirements.
The alignment of business and IT strategies have been used by organizations to create and improve efficiencies, reduce costs, create barriers of entry, improve customer and supplier relationships, and to create new products and business solutions. Understanding this is understanding that IT and business strategies are two individual tools for an organization, but should always be linked towards one same goal: success.