CIOIT-Business Alignment

Through Love and Hate, Keep Tightening the IT-Business Bond

The year 2018 is being looked at as a time in which IT-business alignment starts to enjoy the fruits of its labor. But there are bumps in the road with every relationship, especially business relationships. In an article for InformationWeek, Esther Shein shares how various businesses treat this relationship—through good times and bad.

Ups and Downs

One of the most common ways that the business and IT fall out of alignment is that the business develops false expectations about IT’s capabilities and the ease of executing tasks. To preempt such a situation, the business should come together with the CIO and business relationship managers to build strategy and IT’s role in it together. The CIO can make it clear what IT can do and the investment involved.

Ideally, the business and IT will simply “play nicely together.” Shein shares one version of this playing out:

That’s a strategy in play at Stream, a direct seller of connected life services. CIO Kelly Habbas said the company has implemented an Information Technology Governance Committee to review all major projects the business wants to deploy that require IT involvement. All senior leaders actively participate, and the committee is the ultimate decision-maker.

“We have some good, healthy debates as an executive team on what projects we should do, what gets prioritized, and what is cut,” Habbas said. “This moves the burden out of the IT organization, clearly states what’s being worked on, and prevents backdoor projects or choosing favorites.”

A cultural change the business can make is to think of IT as a first-line responder when looking for additional support or insight on a project. IT may not always have all the answers, but it is a waste of resources not to at least ask.

For several more thoughts and tips on how businesses are better managing IT-business relationships, you can view the original article here:

John Friscia

John Friscia was the Editor of Computer Aid's Accelerating IT Success from 2015 through 2018. He began working for Computer Aid, Inc. in 2013 and grew in every possible way in his time there. John graduated summa cum laude from Shippensburg University with a B.A. in English.

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