The concept of business and IT not aligning is a foreign concept to me. Other departments such as accounting and marketing departments don’t have this mandate that they must align with the business because they do. Why is IT any different? By our very existence we are in alignment with the business.
If the IT department is running off doing their own thing I think that is a failure of management to provide oversight and guidance. This implies other issues within the organization.
Why is there this stigma that IT is off doing its own thing? We “keep the lights on” so the business can perform the act of doing, well, business.
I have been privileged in my career to work with seasoned executives who understood technology and knew how to use it to grow their business. These were not techies but people that saw the power of the computer as a tool.
The fundamental problem that leads to a break down between business and IT is the lack of communication from both sides. The questions that should be asked and answered are the following:
· What are the expectations that need to be met?
· Are there clear goals that can be achieved?
· What information should IT be reporting on a regular basis and in what format?
· What metrics are helpfulful?
· Are the goals of IT aligned with those of the business?
I have seen in many organizations where IT has no clear direction. This is usually a failure of the CIO to articulate a vision. More so it is a lack of communication which leads to the breakdown of communications and the resulting disconnect and dysfunction between business and IT.
It is important to establish an effective relationship between your business leaders and your information technology group.