Aligning IT with business objectives for digital transformation success

BUSINESSES understand that transformation is critical to their success, and it’s one challenge that needs the co-operation of both IT and leaders. If they’re not aligned and working hand-in-hand, organizations struggle to climb the digital maturity curve despite their best efforts.

Digital transformation is a resource heavy pursuit, and for organizations that want to make the most of their investments, making sure that IT and business leaders collaborate and craft the digital agenda and priorities is critical.

Here are four ways to help an organization ensure that its business leaders and IT teams are able to work together and deliver the best results:

# 1 | Develop ownership opportunities

Digital transformation projects are usually spearheaded by the board of directors of the CEO/CIO, and managed by IT teams.

As a result, neither group is heavily invested in the outcome.

Therefore, in order to ensure success, it is a good idea to create ownership opportunities for both sides and ensure their goals are interlinked.

Let’s say, for example, you intend to go paperless. If you task the IT team with creating the tool and your business managers with ensuring the implementation of the tool, the two teams will have to collaborate in order to create a tool that supports the business while also helping to lift the organization’s digital maturity.

# 2 | Help facilitate collaboration

Collaboration is key to digital transformation. In fact, organizations where IT and business managers collaborate effectively, top-notch digital transformation projects are common.

In order to facilitate collaboration, it’s important to ensure that both groups of leaders and executives understand their own inherent weaknesses, and learn to trust and respect each other’s strengths.

When this happens, your business leaders will focus on explaining their department’s challenges to the IT team and leave them to come up with a solution. Your IT team too will, in turn, trust your business leaders to evaluate their proposed solution to spot challenges and gaps so that they can remediate them together.

# 3 | Foster an understanding of desired goals

When IT and business managers are involved in digital transformation projects, they tend to worry about their own deliverables in the project rather than the end goal.

Hence, it’s important to ensure that they have a clear understanding of the purpose of the project, and further, to tie their performance and contribution to the project to the overall success of the project.

Say, for example, when you’re designing a paperless solution for the company, it’s important to emphasize that the role of business managers doesn’t end with providing the requirements of the solution and that the IT team’s efforts don’t end with providing a digital solution built for the purpose.

The project (and the investment) will only bring value when executives across the organization use the new tool — and IT and business managers have to work hand-in-hand to make that happen.

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