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Insight into IT alignment

Apr 01, 20042 mins
Data Center

* A look at what successful organizations do in terms of their IT alignment efforts

Nearly everyone agrees that companies can benefit by better aligning IT with business strategy, though few to date are doing this well, according to a survey from Deloitte Consulting. Only 10% of the 200 IT executives surveyed said they’ve been “extremely successful” in strategy alignment efforts.

“To be extremely successful in aligning IT with the business, the IT role and investment priorities must be clearly defined and executed against agreed-upon plans,” says Ann Senn, global leader of Deloitte’s CIO Advisory Services practice. “As executives begin to understand the impact misalignment has on an organization’s bottom line, IT alignment becomes increasingly critical to the organization.”

How can you accomplish this? Deloitte identifies three characteristics exhibited by organizations that are more successful in these efforts:

* Forge executive agreement on the role of IT: That is, how and where will IT add value to the business? Deloitte uses a model of four potential roles: business leader, business partner, service provider, and IT entrepreneur.

* Focus on the right priorities: This calls for the ability to group IT assets into investment categories within an overall portfolio. IT governance involves balancing IT’s potential contribution against other opportunities and available resources. The goal is to make sure investments gel with the organization’s aspirations and operations.

* Do the right things right: Work your plan and deliver against expectations. In simple terms, once you’ve figured out what to do, then you need to follow through with action.

For complete results of the survey, go to