IT and business alignment is the best system for modern strategic management of organizations because it reduces the overall costs of operations, promotes effective communication in a company, and enhances faster response and evaluation of business progress. Besides, it sets a platform for faster changes by an organization in future.
However, IT and business alignment has proved to be one of the most difficult aspect for most organizations. Over 75% of the companies and institutions have not fully aligned IT with their management systems. However, over 80% of them have partially embraced IT especially in the top management levels (Aileen, 2008).
IT and business alignment is an ongoing process that optimizes the IT mechanisms and business management operations at all levels. It carves the correct climate whereby IT becomes a major strategic enabler of all the business operations.
Lack of effective leadership in business operations
According to Roland (2008) effective leadership in a business setting acts as a major platform and a guiding icon towards the correct direction for an organization. Arguably, it is the role of the business leaders to pro-actively identify the most important aspects that would enhance higher levels of sustainability.
Notably, small mistakes taken by conservative rigid leaders are referred as minor shenanigans and mostly not factored in business operations until it has sank into great losses. Most of the leaders are directly engrossed into the past methods of business operations based on raw products and finished products simplified systems of accounting. Many organizations are unable to link the extra IT cost to be incurred by the business and the returns to be achieved.
As indicated by majority of the large companies that have embraced IT in their systems like Wal-Mart and JP Morgan & Chase, the returns are not instant and may take time before the respective advantages are realized. Arguably, IT/ Business alignment is a process as opposed to a one day operation.
After launching its Point of Sale services that would link Citibank with its major financial operations information centers, the Bank had to wait for some months before realizing the expected goals (Mahesh, 2007).
Poor focus into the future and conservatism
Analysts have linked hardship to articulate IT and business hardships to three superimposed factors of business management namely tactic, strategy, and innovation. The three factors are effectively superimposed on each other and simultaneously operate for or against IT/ business alignment depending with the prevailing environment.
Lack of effective tactics and strategy by business makes the overall demand for modernization to appear vague (Malcolm & Keith, 2007). Notably, many companies and organizations especially in areas with reduced competition have been slow in aligning IT and their business operations.
Southwest Airlines managing director cited his company’s success as a product of effective tactic that incorporated customer and staff management through information technology that assists the airline to respond faster to all the consumer need.
Arguably, the current economic down turn could have affected them very negatively as the company offers low cost flights in US (Ann, 2007).
Henersen & Venkartraman (1993) points out that poor innovative capacity by organization forms a major stepping block of growth, and development. Arguably, alignment of IT and business demands high levels of innovative capacity that carves new ways of operating the old models.
This has been indicated as one of the hardest nut to crack especially where leaders are greatly old fashioned. This has been cited as the major setback especially where people manage their own premises as opposed to professionals. There is generally lack of effective cost benefit analysis to determine the overall suitability of the alignment.
Organizations financial ability
To add to that, lack of enough finances has slowed or hindered many company’s operations alignment with IT. Arguably, establishment of IT infrastructure is a costly venture that requires correct budgeting in effecting the overall venture.
Though analysts have differed on the statement that finances form the key aspect in aligning IT and business operations, it is clear that very little can be achieved without enough funds (Aileen, 2008).
Though the cost of installation and establishing the correct IT systems in business has relatively declined, the overall maintenance and possible establishment of new IT operations department demands enough funds especially at the beginning. This has been a major cause of failure especially in the last three years when companies’ have are trying to reduce the overall cost as much as possible.
IT/ business alignment is the best system for modern strategic management for effecting change and maximizing profits. Effective leadership demands that balance is taken to ensure increased focus into the future that will be defined and established on the basis of IT assimilation in the business.
Lean management should be assimilated in organizations through IT and business alignment’s as a mode of reducing the overall wasteful systems in its operations. Businesses should embark on international studies to establish the facts and the vast advantages that are derived from IT alignment in business management operations.
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