Project Portfolio Management

IT and Business Alignment is for Weenies

Why Do We Separate IT?

The problem that Joe Topinka has with the term “IT Business Alignment” is simple: he doesn’t understand why they were even separated to start with. Putting it as directly as possible, Topinka explains how separating IT in this way almost assures that there will be alignment problems. Instead of doing this, he suggests thinking past “alignment” and instead integrating IT with the rest of the business:

Instead of hoping for mere alignment as a goal, business leaders must proactively integrate IT into the strategic planning process as they strive for convergence. Then, to really hit the convergence sweet-spot, the same leaders have to make certain that companies have an ongoing operational process in place to ensure the linkage between IT and strategy remains intact. Companies that reach this converged state, where business stakeholders and IT are intertwined and inseparable, drive a level of performance that exceeds the competition. It is far beyond mere alignment. In the converged model, all organizational units row the same direction. IT and HR, Finance, Supply Chain, etc., all need to be involved in the strategic conversation.

Involved In The Whole Process

What might not be an obvious benefit here is how much more IT can contribute to the conversations during the planning process. Currently, IT is brought in at the last minute to implement the ideas and plans that other departments have created—resulting in quite a bit of stress and realization for all parties involved. If IT is brought in from the start, there is more of a chance that everyone will be on the same page for the entirety of the project—from idea to implementation—removing the idea that IT needs to be aligned to a pre-existing objective of the company.

Read the full article here to better understand how IT’s role has fundamentally changed from outsider to center of the business:

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