Technology Alignment

Alignment in IT and Operations involves aligning and integrating traditional information technology with devices, sensors and software used to monitor and control physical equipment. IT and OT integration promotes a single view of enterprise information management, an essential element for the high-performance workplace in which every person, sensor, switch or other device has the right information in the right format at the right time to make the best possible decision. Challenges related to knowledge refer to the central problem that IT executives are not always privy to corporate strategy, and that organizational leaders are not always knowledgeable about IT. Also, managers are not always knowledgeable about key business and industry drivers. IT leaders should also embrace new governance approaches that empower the business by providing guardrails and education, preserving strict control for only the most critical technology assets. Guardrails will ensure that systems can intercommunicate, data can be protected and recovered, and business processes can be restored if a disaster occurs. But for these guidelines to be successful, they must be anchored by an understanding of the business intent, not a purely IT-centric view of governance. Most important, leadership teams must adopt an iterative approach to developing integrated business-technology strategies that assumes change and focuses relentless innovation on the core business competencies that will sustain their competitive advantage over the long term. Slightly modifying the operational definition given to reflect the relationship between the business and IT, strategic alignment can be defined as the art and science of formulating, integrating, and implementing decisions between the business and IT, which enables an organization to achieve its objectives. The function of architecture planning is analogous to that of strategic alignment in that a technical blueprint is created, enabling IT to effectively respond to the needs of business, both current and future.

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