IT is entrenched in today’s enterprises and constitutes a critical component of operations. However, many enterprises still deploy IT just because everyone else is doing it. They do not take the pains to synchronize their digital solutions with enterprise goals. A lack of intent or focus to create business aligned software could be fatal for most enterprises, in today’s highly competitive environment. On the other hand, the benefit of creating business aligned software is far-reaching. It is often a valuable source of competitive advantage for the enterprise.
Here are some ways developing business aligned software helps the enterprise.
Better Products and Services Delivery
Until not too long ago, IT largely played a secondary or supporting role in core business operations. Today, emerging technologies have propelled IT as an integral part of enterprise operations. IT influences every step of a company’s activities, helping the enterprise optimize the workflow and resource management. Well aligned software is indispensable to enable better integration and collaboration between departments, improve customer experience, optimize the supply chain management, and overall infuse dynamism into the enterprise.
Well aligned business software offers a mechanism to support the strategic goals of the business. It offers the platform to develop a systematic approach to initiate and prioritize tasks, and also evaluate and repeat key tasks and strategic initiatives on a regular basis.
Software aligned with business needs and processes makes the business more agile and competitive. Through automation, highly synced workflows, machine learning, and other technologies, a business-aligned software offers the perform platform to aid innovation, improves efficiency, accelerate processes, and reduce waste. The net result is an overall increase in workforce productivity and product quality.
Improved decision-making based on advanced analytics
Well aligned business software generates precise and accurate analytics, which identify pain-points, deliver valuable insights on how to sell, and delight customers better. The relevance of the big data insights depends on the data fed into the analytical engine. Software aligned to the business is an important prerequisite to generate and collect the right data. The advanced analytics, based on relevant and accurate data offers valuable insights to assess performance, employee wise, team wise, unit wise, and with various permutations and combinations.
Integration of the analytics with the actual operational systems, to offer real-time visibility is an important component of aligning software with business needs.
IT cannot properly customize software if they are not sure of the goals of the business in the first place, or the exact output various stakeholders expect from the system. For instance, attempting to implement a solution, to automate a process that was broken, to begin with, only aggravates the problem.
Managing risks is critical for the health of the enterprise, yet often an underestimated function. Regarded as cost centres, it is often ignored in favor of more expedient issues. A business-aligned software factors in or pre-empts several risk scenarios. Several risk management and associated compliance task are factored into the process and even automated.
Enterprises investing in the hype-driven software development, or committing to some cutting-edge technology, without a sound proper understanding of the underlying risks and rewards, or without a clear idea of the objectives of the implementations, bear higher risks and invariably pay the price in terms of customers leaving, and the workforce getting discontent.
True alignment of software with the business processes and requirements changes the way team functions. IT acts as a great catalyst for team members to embrace and inculcate team top management decisions and organization actions.
Well-aligned business software invariably includes a strong collaborative platform, which enables each team member to articulate their value within the organization. It helps in not just demolishing data silos, but also facilitates the free and easy access to information, which has a spin-off effect in eradicating barriers to teamwork.
Aligning the software with the operational context enables team members to see the larger picture, and also spot potential roadblocks. A good software integrates disparate silos within the enterprise, allowing all the members of the team, and several teams within the enterprise, to move toward the same strategic goals seamlessly.
Misaligned IT solutions force the business to make compromises, and adjust to the way the software functions. While there may be some benefits in such a generic IT implementation, the ill-effects are usually far greater, with IT coming in the way of smooth and seamless workflow.
A misaligned system may actually impede productivity. A field service executive, for instance, may be hampered by having to manually update a report through a smartphone on the move, when the UX is developed for a PC terminal. An aligned system, on the other hand, would capture information automatically, and give a mobile-optimized UX to make it as easy as possible for the executive.
Business-aligned software reduces costs. It automates the routine task, speeds up the workflow, and improves accuracy, enabling the workforce to do more work in the finite time available. The direct benefit is cost savings through such reduced waste.
The indirect benefit of a business-aligned software is improved customer delight, which improves sales manifold and delivers long-term benefit for the enterprise. A system which enables the enterprise to perform its functions seamlessly allows matching customer expectations to the hilt, and serving customers on their terms, effortlessly. Customers increasingly view such enterprises with favor, and patronize it more, leading to more sales. More sales not only increase revenue but also result in lesser per-unit costs, further boosting efficiency.
The need of the hour for enterprises is a flexible yet robust solution which can seize opportunities on the fly, and also be updated constantly. IT is in a continuous state of flux, with new technologies making older ones irrelevant almost by the day. Likewise, the business is also changing. When the enterprise shifts its priorities, as it often does, the software would also require immediate revision and updates.
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