The Importance of Aligning Business and Technology

July 15, 2020 Chelsea Coster

I think it is safe to say that the terms DevOps, automation and Azure have grown from buzzwords in the industry to a way of life for both individuals and organizations.  Maybe you have successfully led your organization to achieve an ideal state, maybe you have been talking about it for a few years and are ready to start executing, or maybe you are just putting a roadmap in place. Wherever you are in your DevOps journey, I strongly recommend aligning the desired outcomes you want to achieve from a technical perspective with the business objectives of your organization.

One thing I have learned from our team at New Signature and the many engagements we have conducted is the importance of aligning the business objectives of the organization with the technical outcomes you are striving to achieve.  Why is this important?  Whether your company views your technology teams as a profit center or a cost center, I strongly believe that if you align your work to the business objectives you will have executive level buy-in with future plans and projects.

There have been at least a handful of times this year alone that I have worked with our technical team on a new proposal for a company who wants to automate as much as possible or leverage the cloud. We work to peel back the layers and find out what could be most meaningful to them from a technology perspective, and without aligning those projects to a business perspective, you could be missing out on key metrics or information that may change a technological roadmap.

One example from my career was for an Azure-focused engagement in which a business VP felt like the business may be overspending in Azure because they began their cloud journey with a lift-and-shift approach and felt like they could now leverage some of the PaaS capabilities with more efficient scalability. Our proposal focused on cost savings to their existing solution so they could relieve their budget to leverage some of the PaaS options,  increasing performance and scalability.  We later came to find out that the company President cared more about revenue-generating activity for their existing product line. That could have been achieved by some of the same deliverables, but because I focused on the “cost savings” objective instead of “revenue-generating” objective, the project was not aligned with their overall business goals.

When you think about the output of a process being automated and what you are measuring to show value, I recommend taking those two items one step further.  How does that output and measured value tie to the business and help the organization achieve its mission and goals?

I once read an article  about how Walmart is leveraging blockchain technology to track lettuce to pinpoint contamination quicker.  I would imagine that some analysis was done as to how much money this could potentially save them to justify the ROI of this technology investment. I don’t think they would have had buy-in to move forward with this without business and financial justification.  They identified a real-world problem,  wanted to minimize that risk of revenue loss and general food safety to the public and then found a technology solution that could solve that problem.

There are thousands of case studies Microsoft has conducted on the problems companies are solving with Microsoft Azure that can be found here, as well.

The point I want to articulate is that regardless of your role in technology or business, make sure that you are aligning a business objective or solving a problem you are facing today with a technology solution instead of picking a technology solution and then finding a problem to solve. Curious how you can solve one of your business problems with technology? Reach out to a New Signature expert to have a conversation about your unique needs.

About the Author:

Chelsea Coster is a Business Development Director at New Signature based in Orlando, Florida.  As a Business Development Director, she helps organizations with their journey to the cloud and their digital transformation.  She has over 10 years of experience in the Professional Services/Information Technology industry. When she is not working you can find her walking with her family, working out in the garage, cooking or attempting to keep her plants alive.

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