Need To Align Organizational Strategy, Business Process Architecture And It Essay
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Business Process Management BPM
Organizational strategy refers to the ability to assess the current state of affairs in an organization in relation to the organization’s objectives. The Alignment of the business strategy with ICT and process architecture has been a priority to most top executives and IT professionals. Formulating strategies that catapult the organization towards meeting its objectives requires that the organization analyzes the skills and labor force of its employees (Wyatt-Haines, 2007). These skills or talents are then aligned in a way that allows the workers to deliver and work towards the attainment of the organization’s objectives. For an organization to meet its goals, missions and visions, there is a need for executives to analyze the business strategy and align it with the business architecture. Aligning organization strategy with business structure ensures that there is organizational competition among the workers and departments and that there is talent management as well as the inculcation of a culture that works best for the organization. Organization structure is, therefore, planning. It involves keenly formulating what needs to be done in the short-term, what should be expected in the mid-term and what needs to be done to achieve the long-term goals of the organization. Business architecture is the leadership structure, business process and how the information flows from one department of an organization to the other. It is the model or framework of an organization. Business architecture emphasizes on how the organization should operate by motivating its employees and analyzing its models and integrating all these aspects into the business enterprises. The world we live in today is more technology oriented. A business must, therefore, align its organizational strategy with the business structure and consequently IT in order to achieve the desired effects.
Any business that aligns its IT with its processes tends to support workforce behavior. For instance, organizations that have time and attendance monitoring devices such as the biometric clock machines will tend to have higher productivity due to the availability of workers at all times in the organization. It also helps when it comes to computing the salaries and wages of employees in an organization by taking into account all the extra hours of workforce. Embracing technology for companies means reduced costs. Most businesses use the Web Human Resource Management System (WebHRMS) to remit wages to employees. This has a positive effect on the company architecture due to the reduced costs and the standardized working process since all the employees have the same formula when it comes to payment of salaries. However, the IT department in most organizations is viewed majorly as a support function and as a core aspect of the business architecture. Aligning IT with business process helps to achieve higher goals of an organization through advertisements and marketing (King, 2009, p. 70). Aligning IT with the business architecture results in improved communication between members of an organization. For example, a company involved in Supply chain management would require that members of the IT department communicate with the procurement on what items need to be ordered. There also needs to be a prior communication with the supplier through emails on what he should and when the merchandise should be delivered. The software here can be Enterprise Resource Management (ERP) which helps business to grow and meet its strategic goals. For example, most retail companies use the modules of ERP in different dimensions. For example, the account departments may use Oracle Financials (ORFIN) while the main distribution center (DC) may use the Oracle Retail Warehouse Management Systems (ORWMS). The Human resource department could use the Web -Human Resource Management System (WebHRMS). Aligning all these IT aspects with the organizational strategy and business process ensures effective communication within the organization and with the supplier hence ensuring that the Supply Chain Management (SCM) process is a success. A successful SCM translates to better inventory control at the DC and in the end superior service delivery to the esteemed customers. This increases the organization's output with an increased turnover enabling the organization achieve its goals.
The overall growth in production brought about by linking IT with the business process allows the organization to evaluate its performance in relation to its objectives and targets. Executives can tell where they are as a business and assess if they are headed towards the right direction in achieving their goals (Van Grembergen and DeHaes, 2012). They can also measure their progress, understand what needs to be done and policies they need to formulate and how they can use IT differently to meet the company’s goals. As a result, they can make informed choices as pertains to the business process.
Aligning business process with IT ensures proper documentation. This is achieved especially in organizations that have IT systems that bring on board its employees. For example, there are companies that have their employee profiles in softcopy format. This is a good backup plan in case the paper file of an employee is misplaced. There is security because one has to have a password in order to access documents from the database (King, 2009). This improves the culture of accountability hence improving the employees’ relations with each other. This ensures high working morale among workers hence increased output in the organization.
Aligning the business process with IT and organization strategy improves the skills and talents of the labor force. Through IT, individuals can sharpen their skills and may be able to develop and nurture their talents. For instance, a person may create an application that benefits the entire organization and cuts down the cost of the company. With reduced costs and new application, there is a variety of choices the company can make. In addition, business processes that embrace IT readily adapt to environmental changes. The business environment is highly dynamic thus the IT sector is dynamic and changes along. An organization that changes with changing trends in technology can keep up with the constant changing demands of the consumers. It is, therefore, able to analyze what needs to be changed in order to propel the organization towards achieving its goals.
Importance for an organization to align these factors with its environment
A business environment refers to both the inside and outside factors that affect the operation of an organization. These factors could be political, social, environmental, economic and even technological. The way a business runs is adversely affected by the environment. For example, changes in technological environment demands that a business goes back to its organizational strategic plans and reviews the policies formulated in relation to the new technologies in the market. It is important that an organization aligns its strategy, and business process with the IT aspect primarily because a change in the technological environment directly affects how an enterprise operates (Khosrow-Pour, 2006). This is due in large part to the fact there is mutual adaptation between the employee who uses the technology and the technological environment. The user of technology utilizes this technology on a daily basis in the business operations and hence comes to terms with the technological environment which constantly changing. The organization needs to align its strategy with the business process and IT since failure to do so may cause unpredictability or imbalance on the intended organizational targets (Chew and Gottschalk 2013).
Aligning IT and business process architecture with the organizational strategy enables the organizations to adapt to the environment. This adaptation to the new environment sustains organizations and makes them vigorous and quick by giving them a competitive edge over the others.
An organization that is able to align these elements (business process, organizational strategy and IT) with its environment is in a position to understand fully the changes in the environment and respond to customer demands through the quality information it has gathered from the environment. As a result, the organization can enhance its knowledge and hence detect emerging opportunities and threats in the environment at the right time and with accuracy.
The social environment also plays a critical role in the operation of a business. There is a need for the business process to get well informed about the behavior of the consumers and their social attachments to products in the market (Proctor, 2011). This is because consumers have tastes preferences and attitudes towards commodities. Businesses will, therefore, need to think about the norms of the society and its needs. The culture of consumers affects the business process. Therefore, it is critical to align IT with the social environment since it all affects the business process architecture.
Political factors affect the business operation and hence the organizational strategy. The laws and policies that govern how companies should operate are critical to any organization. Therefore any successful organization should put into consideration all the political factors and IT in its business process. This is because the political environment enforces ethics and laws in relation to the enterprises and organizations must adhere to these rules and policies in the process of formulating and implementing their own business strategy. The labor laws that apply to individuals who use technology in organizations should be familiar with an organization to ensure efficient delivery of services. This enables the organization to realize its strategic values as a result of aligning IT and the entire business process with the environment.
The process of aligning organizational goals and strategy with the economic environment ensures that the organizational is well-informed of what happens in the economy. The business process architecture can give valid solutions facing the organization in the face of the economic downturn, economic recession, and Inflation (Brock and Rosemann, 2014). Foreign trade policies and border tariffs usually affect the business. It is, therefore, essential that a company aligns IT with the economic environment in order to make predictions of what the economy expects of them as a corporation.
A committed labor force constitutes the internal environment of a business. Aligning the labor force with the IT and business process is critical to ensuring that the organization meets its goals.
The alignment of the three environments has been key to the success of most businesses especially in the US. The alignment has grown due to increased changes in business strategies as well as advancements in technologies (Sledgianowski and Luftman, 2005, p. 105). However, most small and medium companies are still struggling to achieve the alignment.
Difficulties an organization might experience if it fails to align these elements of its environment
An organization involved in SCM may experience difficulties if it fails to align its business strategy with the business process and IT since IT plays a critical role in the retail world today. The software used includes ERP and helps in accounting and financials in an organization. Therefore, the finance, HR and procurement departments will have ineffective communication hence low turnouts in the production.
Labor force would also be a challenge when it comes to aligning them with the company’s goals and objectives. The labor force uses the internet hence they are an internal environment to the organization. This means the organization can change the way they operate, unlike the external factors that dictate how the organization should work. Failure to align the workforce with business process and IT poses a serious challenge to the organization. This is because there is a low motivation level among workers since their talents and skills are not tapped hence low morale that kills the organization strategy.
According to Jeston and Nelis (2008), it is challenging to assess the progress of the company if the business process is not aligned with IT. This is because executives are unable to determine where the business is in terms of growth. They are not able to assess the needs of the organization with regards to the demands of the consumers.
Failure to align business process with the environment of the business means that the environment poses major threats to the enterprise. These include economic environment as well as the political environment (King, 2011). This is because the organization may lack new information on economic changes and may fail to respond to the changes.
An organization that does not link business process with its environment may fail to utilize its resources fully. Brock and Rosemann (2014) also reiterate that the talents and skills of individuals may not be tapped hence lower levels of output.
Connecting business process with the political environment means that the organization is acting intra-vires. The company may fail to consider the political environment and may not adhere to some of the rules and policies stated by the government (King, 2011). This may lead to the company being in a court of law for acting ultra vires.
Brock, J. and Rosemann, M., 2014. Handbook on Business Process Management 2. Dordrecht:
Chew E. and Gottschalk, P., 2013. Knowledge driven service innovation and management.
Hershey, PA: Business Science Reference.
Jeston, J. and Nelis, J., 2008. Management by process. Amsterdam: Elsevier/Butterworth-Heinemann.
Khosrow-Pour, M., 2006. Emerging trends and challenges in information technology management. Hershey: IDEA Group Pub.
King, W., 2009. Planning for information systems. Armonk, N.Y.: M.E. Sharpe.
Proctor, K., 2011. Optimizing and assessing information technology. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley.
Sledgianowski, D. and Luftman, J., 2005. IT-Business Strategic Alignment Maturity. Journal of Cases on Information Technology, 7(2), pp.102-120.
Van Grembergen, W. and DeHaes, S., 2012. Business strategy and applications in enterprise IT governance. Hershey, PA: Business Science Reference.
Wyatt-Haines, R., 2007. Align IT. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley.
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