Saturday, February 4, 2023

CTO’s Playbook to Create Alignment Between Technology, Processes, and Business Goals

By Nikhil Sonawane - December 23, 2022 4 Mins Read

Many companies are dealing with a plethora of tools designed to manage environments that no longer exist in the same way they did in 2019. Many tools are still designed with on-premise server infrastructure and user desktops physically on the corporate LAN in mind. This has led to a misalignment between IT infrastructure, processes, and business goals.

According to a recent report by Deazy titled “State of European Dev Ecosystem 2022,” nearly 60% of the Uk CTOs consider that there is a misalignment between technology and their business objectives. Misalignment between the tech stack, processes, and business goals will not have the desired results. Moreover, all the efforts and investments will be in vain if businesses are not able to leverage the technology implemented.

There are many incremental technologies that need to be layered into an organization to ensure streamlined operations. It may seem daunting to CTOs in other lines of business to gauge the impact of technology changes and how these changes may affect business objectives. This seems to be more of an issue now because of a scarcity of effective technical resources, “quiet” quitting, and other post-pandemic effects. So, not only are there tighter budgets but there are fewer qualified people to take advantage of the tools that are available.

Also Read: Sweep, a Salesforce software no-code configuration tool, raises USD 28 million

Another example of the misalignment of business objectives, processes, and technology can be observed with environmental sustainability. At the top levels, there are conversations and goals related to increasing sustainable practices in the business, but then when it comes to implementation, there can be pushback throughout the organization due to changes that need to be adopted to develop and execute more sustainable processes. This also fits into the notion of attempting to do more with less and not having sufficient technical resources available.

Set transparent communication processes

A lot of misalignment is caused by both historical and current differences in the spheres of influence and the communication between IT and the business. The stereotype of mysterious tech people who speak a different language and perform ‘dark arts’ persists in many organizations. This does a disservice to both parties – many businesses are totally reliant on their technology, yet a lack of common understanding leads to a limited appreciation of potential risks or approaches to mitigate them. The immediate goal of such enterprises should be to fix their communication channels with the outside world and internally. The CTO needs to recognize there could be a culture gap and explain things in simple terms without technical jargon. It’s important to remember that communication is what happens at the other end – and if businesspeople don’t understand what’s been said, it’s on the CTO to try different approaches to get everyone on the same page and build mutual understanding and trust.

Texture of cement wall, White painted and surface rough of concrete wallpaper background“Compounding this is a lack of clear discussion between IT teams and the rest of their business, preventing a mutual understanding about priorities and challenges, which undermines any progress towards a much-needed alignment,” says Nick Drouet, CTO and Global Practice Leader, Kyndryl.

Get everybody onboard

CTOs should focus on aligning all the technology used in their IT infrastructure with the objectives of the business. If they are not aligned, then either the business objectives are poorly defined and unable to be properly delivered with that technology, or the existing technology integrated does not suffice the business objectives.

Also Read: 3 Lessons to Boost an Enterprise’s Transformation Journey

If the misalignment isn’t from this lack of planning or communication, then business IT leaders are simply not aware of the latest technology in the field; if that’s the case, then look to fix that. Businesses that aim to create a perfect alignment between their technology, stakeholders and work processes, business goals, and customer expectations need to have a clear understanding of long-term business goals.

keith macfarlane image“The most common way to address that is through objectives and key results (OKR) exercise, ensuring business leaders understand what the CEO is driving for and getting buy-in from everyone involved. Enterprises need to push their objectives through every layer of the organization, ensuring everyone is onboard: the data science team, the engineering team, the product team, all the way down to the most junior engineer implementing lines of code.” says Keith McFarlane, Chief Technology Officer at Globality,    

CTOs should have efficient ways to align their business goals, processes, and workforce to ensure optimized business operations.

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AUTHOR

Nikhil Sonawane

Nikhil S is a Tech Journalist with OnDot Media. He is a media professional with eclectic experience in communications for various technology media brands. He brings his eye for editorial detail and keen sense of language skills to every article he writes.

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