New IT developments are important to all business disciplines because they trigger changes in marketing operations, e-commerce, logistics, human resources, finance, accounting, and relationships with customers and business partners. Nothing about business or corporate strategy is untouched by IT (Turban & Volonino, 2011). The five elements of an IT-enabled business strategy Business strategy| * Contains the mission, vision, and objectives of the organization * States the companyâ€™s market strategy * Describes the unique value proposition the company offers customers * Provides the distinct value configuration of the organization| Business expectations of IT| * Describes how the company might expect IT to contribute to the success of the * business * Possible business expectations of IT include delivering better value, reducing costs, * or improving products and services| IT strategy| * Provides information on IT applications * Describes how to develop the competencies of the people who work in IT * States how IT is to be organized and controlled within the company * Describes the technical infrastructure| IT assessment| * Aims to reveal how technology helps or hinders a business * Can include network and systems performance reviews, software audits, and * concept testing and development * Can include strategic evaluations, technical reviews, and risk management * Should recommend how to use technology to meet business goals| IT plans| * Outlines a companyâ€™s long-term IT plans * Is concerned with how IT should be deployed, managed, and implemented in the * future * Should be cost effective and in line with business goals| What are the advantages of aligning business and IT strategies? There are many advantages when an organization IT strategies are aligned with the organizations business strategies. Information technology is a key business function in almost every successful organization. An effective IT strategy will enable businesses to: * Reduce cost; * Standardize processes; * Enhance productivity; * Improve risk control mechanism; * Implement new business strategies; * Facilitate organic and acquisition driven growth; * Gain competitive advantage by exploiting new technology; Other benefits of the alignment of IT and business strategy is automation, knowledge, organizational improvements, and innovation. Automation can result in increased efficiency while decreasing cost. Knowledge in IT is the ability of an organization to collect, store, process, and disseminate information. The benefit of knowledge gained from IT is cost reduction, greater efficiency, and increased revenues. IT also leads to organizational improvements which usually lead to more decentralized leadership structure which improves the overall effectiveness of the organization. Proper alignment of IT and business strategy can make an organization stand out and look different from its competitors. This alignment can provide a competitive advantage for an organization. How does IT deliver business benefits that are related to the business strategy? IT delivers business benefit by performing high-speed, high volume, and numerical computation. IT provides fast, accurate communication and collaboration unrestricted by time and location. IT gives organizations the ability to store huge amounts of information that is accessible via private networks and the internet. In addition it enables automation of routine decisions making and help facilitate complex decision making. IT also improves the ability to make informed decisions. IT also helps to facilitate collaboration, enhance customer relationships, develop new analytic capabilities, and provide feedback on performance. Reference Turban, E., & Volonino, L. (2011). Information Technology for Management (8th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc..
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