IT-Business AlignmentProject Portfolio Management

The Alignment of IT and Business Doesn’t Make Sense

You want me to align what? Author Michael Gladstone is not enamored with the phrase “align IT with the business.” Writing for IT World Canada, Gladstone sorts out the misconception behind all the IT talk–in journals, blogs, and professional gatherings that prioritize IT-business alignment as a chief concern.

IT is the Business – Duh!

According to Gladstone, the matter of IT-business alignment is very straightforward, but the continued need for extensive discussion in professional circles means that some IT leaders still don’t get it:

…this situation stems from IT teams that compartmentalize projects as “IT projects”, instead of “business” ones. All projects are business projects; there is no such thing as an exclusive IT project. Perception in business weighs more than it is given credit, and by labeling projects as having a solely IT function, it creates segregation in the business. This situation demonstrates suboptimal IT leadership that does not put enough of the right focus on business problems. Rather, such leadership is content to run IT in a vacuum.

What else can be said? It is IT leaders who ultimately determine whether or not technologists are merely supporting the proposed solutions of the business with their skills and expertise, or whether these same experts are forging solutions to meet the underlying needs of the business – not conforming to but complimenting business aims. Perception plays heavily in Gladstone’s argument. If IT leadership perceives that they are merely serving the business, they will miss the more crucial reality that they are the business!

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