Aligning IT & Business Strategies Still Elusive: Page 2

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"Extremely successful" alignment continues to elude most IT executives. Sources of conflict that produce misalignment include unclear definition of IT's role in the organization, lack of detail in top management's plans, and shifting timelines.

"Most CEOs love the products, love the customers, and hate getting into details," said Senn. "They are superb at delegating. In addition, technology infrastructures generally outlast the business models and the strategies they were originally intended to support. This leads to overly rigid infrastructures that limit flexibility."

Overcoming Obstacles

To help organizations overcome the obstacles that prevent alignment, Deloitte identified three characteristics exhibited by organizations that are more successful in aligning IT and business strategies:

* Executive agreement on the role of IT -- where and how it adds value to the business.

* Executive agreement on the right priorities and focus areas for IT.

* Doing the right things right -- follow through and deliver against expectations.

According to Senn, "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. As executives begin to understand the impact misalignment has on organization's bottom-line, IT alignment becomes increasingly critical to the organization."

Survey Background

In October 2003, Deloitte Consulting and IDG Research Services surveyed 200 IT executives, director level and above, representing manufacturing, finance, government, and consumer businesses with mean annual revenues of $1.8 billion.

How far along this road is your shop? Find out how others are faring in our IT Management Forum.

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