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Articulating the Value of IT to Business


This age-old dilemma can be overcome if IT measures what matters to the business.

Dependence on IT has significantly increased as digital goes from nice to have to must have. Amid this accelerating technological shift, enterprises still need to expand their market share, retain their existing customers, win new businesses and maintain a competitive edge over the others. These lofty goals will only remain a distant dream if IT doesn’t play a pivotal role in delivering what the business demands.

So, how can IT enable the business to achieve strategic objectives?

By shifting IT’s focus from application development to business outcomes-aligned metrics, IT organizations can establish a better connection with the business and contribute insights for key decision making. 

Traditionally, IT metrics fall short of informing important strategic decisions because these KPIs don’t jibe with business requirements. Therefore, it is imperative to know what to measure in order to deliver desired outcomes. This starts with the definition of outcomes followed by the charting of sub-process level goals which enable the delivery of the business goals by calibrating the applications, infrastructure and business process services touchpoints. It is easy to fix the portfolio once the “white spaces” in the business process flow are identified. There are various tools and techniques available to identify the bottlenecks that hamper business performance.

An all-inclusive approach to measure, track and deliver business outcomes is essential to articulate IT’s value to the business. We call it business value management framework.

The framework helps in connecting the IT to business goals through a three step approach:

Defining desired business outcomes.

This means identifying intended business results, as well as the key metrics and measurement mechanism to achieve the target state.

Calibrating for business outcomes.

Business transactions are mapped to the IT and process landscape, analyzed for projected improvements in the business process and sub-process levels, and tuned to deliver desired outcomes.

Industrializing the delivery of business outcomes.

This requires a centralized governance structure to ensure the business outcomes model is replicated and evangelized across the enterprise.

Thus, this framework helps in defining, delivering and sustaining business performance by enabling the convergence of IT and business goals.

Figure 1

To learn more, read “Bridging the Gap: Enabling IT to Deliver Better Business Outcomes,” or visit the Digital Systems & Technology section of our website.

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