Project Portfolio Management

Target CEO Departure Watershed for IT, Business Alignment

A Big Firing

While it’s rarely a good thing to take joy in someone losing a job, the departure of Target’s CEO Gregg Steinhafel could signal a new and exciting shift in the importance of information technology on the business as a whole. Chances are, actually, that you as an IT professional already understood this, but the high profile step-down by Steinhafel raises that awareness even outside of IT. This article by Larry Dignan explains why:

Simply put, IT is your business and massive failures even cost the big dogs their jobs. Technology execs have worried about business alignment forever. Stop worrying because business and IT are aligned. If IT blows up—or 110 million customer accounts are breached—so does the business.

A New Alignment?

Dignan goes on to explain that the firing of the CIO (Beth Jacob) wasn’t enough to satisfy the amount of damage done by the data breech. IT and business were linked in the failure and, one can assume in better times, clearly linked in success. This is proof positive that the difficulty in IT/business alignment really isn’t one of not being linked in importance, but in communication. As businesses become digital, they depend more and more on IT’s involvement. Thereby, IT stops being a cost center and begins to become an enabler and strategic asset.

So what does the firing of the CEO over an IT problem mean in the long run? Potentially nothing, but potentially everything. If those outside of IT believe the mistakes of IT can be held against them, they are much more likely to involve IT (and be involved with IT) more often than not.

Read the full article here:

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