The five pillars of benefits realization include strategic management, architecture, business process impact, risk and direct payback. They are used in defining the umbilical cord relationship that exists between a business and information technology investment. However, this paper concentrates on strategic alignment. Strategic alignment has been a special tool monitoring the technological status and responsiveness of an organization with respect to the organizational goals and objectives.
It is a spotlight to the organization to state what type of IT strategy to adopt, the recommended time to adopt, reasons why it should be adopted, how it should be adopted, its applicability in that organizational operations, the added advantage of the technology over the others, the magnitude of its results, how it can be controlled and how flexible it is in case of market dynamicity or incase it is opted to be dropped. This check tool makes sure that the business is not thrown into imbalance by changes or innovations in the market.
It also maintains the competitive potential of the organization by responding to both production and consumer changes. With consideration of all the above, the organizations vision, mission, goals and objectives are ultimately met and the growth path of the enterprise is kept stable, generative and reliable (Vadim, 2001). Strategic alignment This is the process of linking the innovation strategy applied in organization with the organizations vision, goals, objectives and other strategies.
The concept provides critical and analytical set of perspectives which can create the understanding, evaluating and managing of IT investment which is customized or sculptured to fit a specific business context. In the production process, the time and cost required to produce a product may be too high such that lack of alignment and innovation can lead the company or business to enormous losses. An enterprise if often subjected to many goals and objectives. Because of time and resources, all objectives can not be achieved at the same time.
Again, in the process of making a move towards the set out objectives, alignment comes in to give the company a beacon to define the domains to engage in and the ones not to, and the safe path towards their accomplishment (Vadim, 2001). Strategic alignment highly appreciates and recognizes the role played by the road mapping concept. The aim of road mapping is developing an innovative strategy which prioritizes all companies’ goals and objectives. It leads to efficiency in project portfolio development and also in management.
It offers to the company the best technological assessment technique, technological strategy development and division level project evaluation which are the basic components of strategic alignment. The tools of road mapping ensure common language in innovation and builds bridges between business managers, technologists, suppliers and clients (Vadim, 2001). The company’s strategic alignment framework can be used to weave together various ranges of outcomes that indicate and drive growth of the company.
The organizational readiness of the company determines whether it can achieve or inhibit the ability to act upon change, new ideas implementation, and development of strategies, successfully manage; cultural, financial, political or operational demands. The innovation process selected by a company should be manageable. It should facilitate interplay between the external perspectives and the organizational internal capabilities.
It should be able to inspire and direct the imagination of the corporate to exploration of diverse array of new and efficient responsibilities, by looking beyond the obvious. In this context, strategic alignment comes in as an enthusiastic internal linkage and support found among major stakeholders who galvanize organizational shared visions, actions and goals. For realization of strategic alignment, industry foresight is of great importance.
A top down approach should be applied to seek the understanding of complex forces that are driving change, converging and emerging trends or cycles, introduction and advancement of new technology, dynamicity and the rate of competition in labor or product markets, healthy and potential dislocations and finally assessment and implementation of alternative paths. It is also wise to use the other bottom up approach in strategic alignment that puts into concern the consumer insights. It gives the ability to understand all articulated and unarticulated or unrecognized requirements of existing and expected potential customers.
By so doing, the company maintains its market share of customers. Another very vital aspect in this area is the level of core technology and the way it is competent in the company. This provides the set of internally based capabilities, organizational oriented capabilities, assets potentially leveraged to add and deliver value to customers such as technology, strategically modified relationships, brand equity and then intellectual property. All adoptions made by the company ought to be disciplined in the sense that they should enable it to advance in efficiency and effectiveness.
For an organization to move from an ad hoc situation to innovation it should begin by developing and institutionalizing cultural mindset coupled with set of procedures supporting repetition and sustenance in the innovation process. This now creates the avenue for benefits of competitive advantage. (Vadim, 2001. ) For full adoption of strategic alignment, all elements of an organizational strategy should be listed. They include; building of brand value, investing in core technologies, building entrepreneurship effectiveness and revitalization of quality.
After listing them, they should be rated upon the expected degree of impact on each strategy. To provide an overall strategy score, individual ratings should be added. Finally, this score should be combined with ratings of other criterions of assessment such as net present value or the rate of risk involved. This is generally a kind of preliminary stage in strategic alignment that is similar to carrying a cost benefit analysis of the firm. Its necessity is driven fast by the fact that each and every strategy has to undergo scrutiny before it is fully adopted.
This helps the management to choose a strategy of minimum costs and that comply with the corporate goals and objectives. Errors in strategic alignment are highly contributed by a mismatch between the business strategy and the IT strategy or insufficient administration to ensure persistent match between business and IT domains. To avoid all these inconvenience and failures, some perspectives have to be born in mind. Through strategic execution, business strategy should be viewed as driver of the organizational design choices and the logistics of IT infrastructure.
The top managers should come up with the strategy, and then leave the room for IT management to implement. From a view of technological potentiality, there must be a formulated IT strategy supporting the chosen business strategy and also providing the corresponding specifications of IT infrastructure and process. High management provides the technology vision for articulation of the logics and the choices concerning the IT strategy that is compatible with the chosen business strategy. The company should also accord competitive potential in the IT sector (Vadim, 2001).