IT-business alignment is an enabler of great things. How prevalent is it truly in businesses though? Research from HDI and Atlassian seeks to quantify this and other aspects of today’s IT organizations. They collected 184 verified responses from a survey and determined that, ultimately, IT still has a ways to go toward alignment in most organizations.
Align and Conquer
For the purpose of the survey, HDI defined “alignment” according to several specific qualities. Included in these qualities are goals being oriented with business outcomes, IT goals being shared with business partners, and IT success measures aligning with business outcomes. Out of the respondents, 53 satisfied the conditions for being aligned with the business. It was unsurprisingly found that IT organizations with higher process maturity were more likely to be aligned. Most respondents self-graded themselves to be somewhere in the middle for process maturity, though about 27 percent rated themselves on the high end. Among aligned organizations, a full 100 percent said that their IT success measures are aligned with business outcomes.
Some additional interesting data is found about the primary method of determining the priority of IT projects:
- Set by an IT PMO for 15.8% of overall respondents and 26.4% of aligned respondents
- Set by IT directors/managers for 42.9% of overall respondents and 30.2% of aligned respondents
- Set by business management on a scored basis for 29.3% of overall respondents and 37.7% of aligned respondents
Businesses, aligned or not, make use of a wide variety of different methodologies. However, ITIL is used by over 74 percent of overall respondents, compared to 66 percent of aligned organizations.
Lastly, on the issue of digital transformation, nearly 60 percent of overall respondents and over 36 percent of aligned organizations are not aware of any plan to handle transformation. Another 20 percent of overall respondents and 25 percent of aligned organizations say a plan exists but has not been written or published. The remainder has a plan for transformation that is written and published.
Here is a selection of the conclusions the report has drawn from the data collected:
- IT is still largely setting its own agenda, based on the responses about project priorities and who is setting them.
- IT is not well aligned toward business outcomes, except in some organizations represented in the business-aligned and mature groups.
- While service automation has taken hold in a large percentage of organizations, AI, cognitive systems, and machine learning have not.
- If the respondents are correct, there will be no rush to AI, cognitive systems, virtual support agents, or chatbots in the next two years. There does, however, appear to be urgency around investing in cloud applications and service automation.
For further insights and a full statistical breakdown, you can view the research here: http://www.thinkhdi.com/landing/~/media/HDICorp/Files/Industry-Reports/state-of-todays-IT-2017.pdf