Saturday, May 21, 2011

CIO Magazine Realizes "IT Alignment" Is Dead

I took a look at the newest print edition of CIO Magazine and saw the story IT Value Is Dead. Long Live Business Value. (Registration is needed for the whole article, but you don't need it.) The article includes these gems:

The end of IT-business alignment is nigh. And no one is happier about it than the business-focused CIO.

“If you stand in front of an audience of CIOs and start talking about IT-business alignment, at best you get eye rolls, and at worst you get people walking out of the room...”

[A]lignment, it turns out, is not the ultimate end for corporate IT. In fact, says Dave Aron, vice president and fellow in Gartner’s CIO Research group, the language of IT-business alignment—encouraged and endorsed for more than a decade by industry analysts, consultants and, for a time, this magazine—is now dangerously counterproductive, setting IT apart from the enterprise even as technology itself becomes more inextricably entrenched in it.


You heard it here already! For example in this Tweet:

I reject the notion that companies have "business" elements to which the "non-business" must align. There's only one business, or should be.

I'm pleased to see organizations like CIO and Gartner connect with reality. Now we have to see how long it takes to banish "IT alignment" talk from the mindshare of other publishers, speakers, and so-called thought leaders.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Personally, I reject the sentiment in this article. A company being pulled apart by those who rage against the need for alignment with business initiatives will not be a part of the business for long. Standing apart by driving initiatives to improve upon the business (through the use of technology) is one thing; kingdom building for self-aggrandizing is quite another.

Trent said...

I think the previous anon missed the point. Your thought of IT "alignment" may not coincide with the article definition (as mine didn't). The notion of alignment in the article leads to the kingdom building you mention as evidenced in this quote from the article: "CIOs used to measure their personal value by budget or headcount and their team's value by delivering on time and on budget." These metrics lead to CIOs building their kingdom without the biz understanding the value.

I don't think the goal is to stand apart, it's to engage instead of simply aligning (standing parallel). To be seen as integral to the business like any other department-operations, HR, etc.- and in fact MORE integral.

Terence said...

Richard, I'm very tired of hearing about alignment and I'm one of the people that would 'roll his eyes' at the topic.

I believe it is still a problem for many businesses and CIOs but I would much rather talk about how companies are leveraging technology to grow revenue, develop new products or differentiate their company in others ways.

This is business/technology alignment and I would rather talk about those fruits then continue to give air time to the problem.

Thanks,
Terence Finn
http://www.linkedin.com/in/terencefinn