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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The Elusive IT –Business Alignment

IT alignment to business is the cardinal principle that CIO’s hold close to their heart. The results of this year's "State of the CIO" survey concludes: Alignment brings the money!No matter what investment are being absorbed bywhichever technology.
In simple terms this means that if you match what you are doing in the IT department to the goals of your business—whether it be growth, building brand loyalty or entering new markets—you will, most assuredly, increase your chances for success as a CIO. Amongst the key findings:
CIOs who said they were aligned with the business reported that
- IT had enabled a new revenue stream more than twice as often as those CIOs who said they were not aligned (24 percent versus 11 percent).
- They had used IT to create a competitive advantage for the company than unaligned CIOs (38 percent versus 23 percent
How do IT processes & business strategy align ? The answer lays in how CIO’s communicate with C-level colleagues. This is not an easy task – only 1 in 5 CIO’s are able to make this happen. Aligned CIO’s put a high degree of importance to innovation and related activities.

As I see it, the key thing to note here is that, it is "less and less of technology and more and more of social relationships!" – Collaboration between IT & business has to be part of a Business Leader's DNA. its all about communication, commitment and trust. I want to emphasise this – it’s a to way street. Sometimes, I do see that many CIO’s may not be even in a position to list the top three priorities of business in non-technical terms and more often than not many business units look at IT as something that can be bulldozed. This won’t work overall and that’s where the organizational DNA matters. The good part of it is that seeing the benefits of demonstrated results, enterprises can get towards getting there. IT alignment can be evolved & nurtured. Whichever organization does it better, faster and cheaper would stand to gain lot more out of technology investments.

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