Aligning ICT and business objectives

2008-10-08 00:00

We all ask the same questions; what is ICT (information communication technology)? What value does it have? How can I benefit from it?

The answer is simple — there is no question that ICT adds value to organisations. In saying that, value can be measured only by what it offers. ICT has grown in South Africa at a tremendous rate over the past 10 to 15 years.

Furthermore, the relationship between ICT and business is a growing one and offers numerous challenges and benefits all at the same time.

ICT provides value when these challenges are met and the benefits exceed the challenges that present themselves.

Many companies today see ICT as an asset, regarding the information that ICT provides as their greatest and most important asset, generating significant added value to the organisation.

ICT can also be seen as a powerful competitive weapon because over the years it has helped business in the following areas:

• positively impacting revenue/profits

• establishing an edge over competitors

• reaching new markets

• creating new products, and

• boosting operating effectiveness and efficiency.

Research and market trends have shown that in order to gain benefits from ICT management, business and ICT need to be aligned and integrated at the following levels:

• ICT objectives must meet business objectives

• ICT opportunities within the organisation must align with business opportunities

• ICT requirements must meet the users’ requirements within the organisation, and

• ICT growth strategy must align with the business growth strategy.

Every business has business objectives and, strange but true, every ICT department has its own objectives. These objectives are often not in line with each other, which often results in serious problems within the organisation.

By aligning these objectives and integrating them, a joint growth strategy, which is a tremendous advantage for the organisation, can be achieved.

In managing this relationship between the business objectives and ICT objectives, the organisation will have a common objective and direction from which the organisation will only benefit and grow.

For more information call 031 327 6000 or e-mail raniel.misra@kpmg.co.za.

Raniel Misra, KPMG analyst in the Information Technology Advisory.

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