Posted by: Jay Dugan
One of my first jobs in IT was as a one man IT department. My job was to anticipate the IT needs of a small but growing company. It was like trying to hit a moving target. My goals were not much more than a laundry list of projects that were deemed important at the moment. Priorities continually shifted as projects were fast tracked, put on hold or canceled.
At a point, the company achieved a stable IT infrastructure and I was able to set goals and do some meaningful planning. I remembered something that I learned in school about aligning IT goals with business goals. Maybe I would have an easier time selling IT projects that made business sense to executive management. The question was where to start. I went to the company’s mission statement and found three significant goals: maintain high integrity, become an industry leader and inspire excellence. A fourth goal, making money, was not stated in the mission statement but is a universal goal of business.
How can IT support these four important business goals? After some thought I came up with the following: Reliable and available IT would align well with maintaining high integrity. Help desk improvement, business continuity planning and strong security policies would be the pathway to achievement here. Deliver superior IT service would align with inspiring excellence. This could be achieved through continuing education, technical certification and mentoring. Exploring emerging technologies is essential in achieving a position of industry leadership today. All IT staff from the CIO on down must be committed to spending part of their day researching and learning about new technologies. Finally, enhancing revenue, increasing the bottom line, or whatever you call making money, is vitally important to any business. Each business is unique in this regard but a few IT goals that would support this bread and butter goal are; enhance existing applications to do more, implement integrated communications (VoIP) and replacing legacy paper processes with efficient electronic work flows.
Given the current economic conditions, how would you align your IT goals with the business goals of your firm?