“Align and Conquer”: How Aligning BT and IT Can Benefit Your Organization
The following is adapted from our eBook, “Aligning just a BIT: how the marriage of IT and BT produces results”.
IT is typically the largest line item on the corporate budget. After a recession-related dip, growth in IT spending returned to form: Gartner predicts IT spending will grow 3% in 2015. Yet much of that budget is not held to the same standards of value delivery as the rest of the departments. While sales, marketing, and support departments must continually justify their budgets by hitting goals based on generating sales, leads, and customer loyalty, IT remains focused on improving efficiency and reducing costs.
Why is that?
As George Colony, CEO of Forrester Research, noted in a 2009 interview, companies at that point were in the midst of a long-term “tech spending hangover.” In the post-dotcom crash 2000’s, many companies saw in the harsh light of day that their massive technology expenditures were not producing value once cash got tight. As organizations began to dig out of that crisis and disruptive “aaS” services came to market, they placed an ever-greater emphasis on cost-effective and efficient IT – smarter spending, but yet not value-driven spending.
In the five years since that interview, innovative IT services and technologies have continued to emerge, and corporate balance sheets have strengthened as the wider business environment rebounds from the recession. These factors have allowed organizations to begin to be more strategic and intentional about IT spending than ever before. The novel concept of ROI-driven IT development and procurement has been born, and is just now starting to grow.
BT Drives IT Value Delivery
The shift to consider IT as a value driver is also related to the rise of BT (business technology), in its many forms. When new business applications end up improving the customer experience and driving revenue, future spending on technology looks much rosier to line-of-business executives and boards.
In fact, BT not only brings new applications and ideas, but it can also help to frame all technology activity in terms of the business results – even “traditional” kinds. IT departments have always indirectly contributed to the user experience, as they worked to bring consistency, security, and speed to systems and applications. Aligning BT with IT simply forges a direct link by drawing end users, be they customers or employees, into the picture. This enables leaders to take a higher-level view of how overall services drive value, instead of focusing on SLAs for individual components, like availability and response time.
Aligning BT and IT
As the movement for aligning BT and IT spreads, the goals for technology, in general, will evolve from “cheaper – faster – more efficient” to “more engagement – more revenue – more value.” That’s a boon not only for IT managers and their teams but for the entire business, as dollars will flow to a positive resource.