When it comes to doing business in today's technology-focused world, it's important that IT employees are privy to business strategy for a number of reasons. IT leaders have become an integral part of how businesses run and can be crucial in the decision-making process when it comes to implementing new strategies and technologies that will benefit company infrastructure. The symbiotic nature of the relationship between IT and business strategy can be utilized to implement better solutions for the sake of the company, such as enterprise cloud hosting or virtualized servers.
The U.K.'s National Computing Centre released guidelines for aligning business strategy with IT detailing the importance of these two areas of business coming together to work toward a common goal. According to these guidelines, it's integral for a company's strategy to be clearly visible to everyone involved in its implementation, including the IT department. When companies invest in IT, they will be able to reduce costs, improve productivity and workflow and implement new business strategies, so creating this symbiosis will be great for any company.
A good example of this kind of symbiosis would be Insight Enterprises. According to The Wall Street Journal, CIO Mike Guggemos had the idea to have IT staff listen in on earnings calls in order to educate and fill them in about the company's top-level business functions and get their input on broader strategic goals. The strategy has paid off for Insight Enterprises. For instance, when the company focused one call on decreasing the amount of time it took for clients to get quotes, IT was able to take that goal and fix the issue by adding RAM to quote-generating computers. As a result, the company saw a more than 20 percent decrease in quote-generation time.
"It's been a fundamental shift in the thought process in the teams," Guggemos said. "Running the key technology is important, but it's also about what we do to gain more profit."
Bolster IT service
In order to ensure businesses are getting the most out of their IT services, all parts of the company have to come together and look at what could be improved and how to improve it. When business strategy and IT are combined, companies can use their IT infrastructure, which can include cloud based services, to their advantage in order to grow bottom lines and achieve goals.