What gets in the way of technology alignment? There are a variety of factors, internal and external. Here are some of the most common:
Failure to understand the technology. All too often, decisions are made with little true understanding of how the technology works. In that scenario, it can almost be impossible to come away with the best solution — you risk buying a solution that is too complex for your needs, or one you’ll quickly outgrow or in some other way is inadequate.
Budget. Sometimes companies fail to invest adequately in technology, either because they can’t afford it or don’t recognize the value of it. Other times, leadership feels that the company has invested so much in an old system that they’re reluctant to abandon it for something new.
Failure to include IT as part of strategic planning. As an organization’s strategic plan evolves, its technology needs change too. If those who are responsible for technology aren’t included in discussions about the company’s overall strategic direction, they will be unable to plan and adapt accordingly. It’s not fair to expect your IT department to have the right solution for the company if they don’t fully understand where the company is going.
Rapid evolution of technology. Technology changes fast, and it can be hard for organizations to keep up — especially for smaller businesses that don’t have a dedicated IT department or professional in-house. A related problem is that some businesses can be reluctant to invest in new technology for fear that it will quickly become outdated, won’t work, or will be incompatible with current systems.
The human factor. Value comes from the way IT is used in the business. So to realize the maximum benefit, it’s also important that everyone in the business uses available IT tools to their full potential. This may require an alteration in the way work is done, which means complete cooperation and buy-in from employees is necessary. Overcoming push back from employees and getting them to fully utilize a new technology is sometimes much more challenging than simply implementing it.