Information technology plays a pivotal role in delivering value for a business and supporting organizational transformation. To achieve this, Chief Information Officers (CIOs) have become prominent members of the Board. CIOs develop and deliver strategic solutions for the business. The aim is to make an organization competitive by aligning business goals with IT strategy.
Organizations that align Information and Communications Technology (ICT) infrastructure with business goals can improve their performance in strategic areas. Examples are such as customer service, productivity, cost reduction and innovation. An ICT infrastructure supports these improvements as organisations can easily communicate, share information, streamline business processes, and respond to change.
Business centers where IT infrastructure plays a crucial role in streamlining operations
Information is one of your most important assets. An ICT infrastructure enables you to process, store, secure and manage information. Thus, it is available to the decision makers in your organization. The ability to make effective decisions and respond quickly to change is a key element in meeting business goals. It makes an important contribution to the success of product launches or expansion programs . Additionally, it helps you take advantage of market opportunities.
An ICT infrastructure underpins effective collaboration inside and outside your organization. Teams working on projects, such as new product development, can work together easily. Even though, team members are in different locations. Collaboration tools like video conferencing, email, instant messaging and web conferencing are speedy. As they allow your teams to make decisions and get new products to market quickly. Thereby, helping you to meet your strategic marketing goals. Also, your teams can collaborate with suppliers and other external groups, such as research laboratories or universities. So, giving you access to expertise and skills that can improve your ability to innovate.
Streamlining business processes with an ICT infrastructure can help you achieve cost reduction and productivity goals. Alongside, improving customer service as well. Linking an inventory management system to a call centre database, for example, can help customer service staff deal quickly with delivery inquiries and order processing. Having data storage systems linked to a network helps staff access critical business information quickly so that they can make effective decisions and respond rapidly to change in the marketplace.
If international expansion is one of your business goals, an ICT infrastructure can help you to manage your export activities more effectively. Secure networks enable your international branches or distributors to communicate effectively and share market, production, and logistics data easily. Management teams in different locations can hold essential meetings by video conference or teleconference to maintain regular communication while minimizing travel costs.
ICT systems alone do not deliver a competitive advantage. However, organizations that use ICT to leverage the skills and knowledge of their employees can build a competitive advantage that is difficult for competitors to match. An ICT system with secure network connections gives your employees access to the information system resources, applications and data they need to work productively and efficiently, even if they are working from home or at another venue away from the office.
The importance of IT infrastructure to support business goals is evident from the above. However, effective IT strategy can also improve the performance and efficiency of processes and business centres. This way business milestones can be achieved quicker, thereby increasing the organization’s competitiveness.
Effective integration of IT strategy with business goals will afford the following benefits to your business
Organizations that want to improve their innovation capabilities and develop new products or services for the market can use cloud computing to speed up the process. Cloud computing enables organizations to rent additional IT resources during the development project on a pay-as-you-go basis, rather than investing in fixed resources. Organizations can use the additional resources to run pilot programs or speed up development. This provides an important strategic advantage by enabling the organization to get new products to market quickly, ahead of the competition.
Cloud computing enables organizations to scale up their IT resources quickly in response to changing market conditions. Organizations that offer products and services online may find it difficult to handle a surge in traffic, which could result in lost business. Adding resources from the cloud provides a strategic advantage by enabling them to respond to changes in demand, increase revenue and maintain customer satisfaction.
IT solutions that improve collaboration in an organization can provide an important competitive advantage. Issuing field service teams with smartphones, for example, enables service engineers to provide a faster, more efficient service to customers. Engineers working on a customer site can set up voice or video conference calls with product or technical experts at headquarters to discuss and resolve a complex issue, rather than delaying a repair. Offering customer superior service provides a strategic advantage by differentiating an organization from competitors.
Enhance Customer Insight
Collecting and analysing data to gain greater insight into customers’ needs and preferences provides a strategic advantage. By using powerful analytics software, organizations can develop customized offers and personalized communications that help to increase customer satisfaction and foster loyalty.
Introduce New Business Models
Organizations can use IT to make strategic changes to their business models. A company that traditionally sold products through retail outlets might use IT to develop an e-commerce model that enables it to reach a wider market, reduce its distribution costs and offer a more convenient service to customers.
Whatever the nature of your IT infrastructure, from physical hardware (servers, workstations, laptops) to intangible software and networks (such as firewalls, switches, WAPs), we, at CSG Technologies, can assess what you have and implement an optimized solution that works for your organization and your budget.