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3 Areas Where the CEO Needs IT-Business Alignment

The challenge is no secret: CIOs need to understand business strategy almost as much as they understand technology implementation. Computerworld’s Miles Seur reveals how this challenge can be met, at a time when many CIOs are giving up on business alignment as a lost cause:

Several years ago, a technology magazine asked how could alignment be still be such a big priority for CIOs. I asked a CIO about this recently, and he bluntly answered this by saying, “CIOs screwed up a golden opportunity to align 10 years ago.” He explained that they had clawed their way to the table and successfully separated themselves from the CFO. However, once they were at the table, they did not change their game. And, one by one, they are now being returned to the CFO to manage.

3 Triumphal Arches

So if the question of IT-business alignment is one of “getting CIOs closer to their CEO, how is this achieved?” Suer sights three possible avenues of approach:

  • Disruptive technological change
  • Cybersecurity
  • IT governance

Ninety-four percent of companies interviewed said the pace of innovation would accelerate more in the next five years than in the past five. Survival as a business will require long-term planning, investment in technology, and adaptability. Being adaptable involves building an agile enterprise architecture, one that takes into account the customer. There’s no question that technology can get you there – Seur recommends predictive and prescriptive analytics, for starters.

Second, the security landscape of the future is wide open. Will your business stakeholders want a tighter net around the enterprise? More likely, stakeholders will be focused on securing data, rather than ringing the business perimeter. One must pinpoint the most critical and sensitive areas, those with VPN access that hackers are traditionally after. Once the key risks are identified, it becomes possible to align policies, procedures, and investments behind company assets.

Information governance is also at the heart of a strategy that puts CIOs front and center. By effectively owning the process of data management for both the business and IT, CIOs can prove that they are capable partners in regulating information across the enterprise, and in so doing, will gain a critical foothold in the executive suite.

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About Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master's degree in communications at Penn State University.

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