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CIOs, CFOs: Tell Me What I’ve Got Wrong?

Both CIOs and CFOs want to be involved in strategy -but wanting and having are two separate things in the business world. While the fight has been hard for both, recent studies have found that it’s worth it, as IT business alignment is an enormously important effort that many groups struggle with: According to the American Institute of CPAs, “IT Strategic Alignment is the implementation of information technology (IT) in the integration and development of business strategies and corporate goals. Aligning IT and business strategy is the most fundamental factor that must be addressed in order to secure high levels of return on IT investments.” Back in 2002, a study by the CIO/Balanced Scorecard Collaborative had only one-third of respondents (634 participants, split evenly between IT and business executives) claim that their IT organizations were aligned with corporate strategy. Article author Malcolm Faulkner explains aligning IT to the business can be helped through the intelligent use of technology. This isn’t to say that the use of technology is a silver bullet for alignment – it’s not at all. What technology can do, however, is create a more transparent process for the planning and execution of IT projects; allowing for business to better understand and assess the work being performed and offering a better opportunity for them to recognize how it helps the business as a whole. But it isn’t quite as clear as that: companies are wary to invest in tech, especially when they have so many other efforts that require time and money. Faulkner doesn’t agree with that line of reasoning: the cost of overruns due to poor alignment more than make up for the initial costs of implementing tech.

About Anne Grybowski

Anne is a former staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success, with a degree in Media Studies from Penn State University.

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