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Aligning IT to the Business

Aligning IT to the Business

Lately, I have been thinking alot about the current IT climate and how IT aligns itself with the business. It seems that every day you see new blog posts and advertising from companies such as Cisco, Gartner, SAP, Trend Micro, industry experts, and many more advocating new industry trends that will make huge leaps in the way you tackle challenges. The message they impart is that if your company does not do it then you are silly. It just seems like the industry is turning into one full of lemmings ready to jump into the fire in the pursuit of buzz words. One of the biggest buzz word trends in the industry lately is “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD). Not to say that conceptually it is a bad idea. What bothers me is the way in which it is being pursued by IT departments. It seems these days that vendors come up with new ideas in untapped markets, and push them onto their clients like the greatest thing since sliced bread. It just really isn’t for every company.There is a multitude of support and risk issues that must be addressed that can very easily eat up all the cost avoidance that the project was originally intended to accomplish, and does it truly help the business operations? I am not talking about support services but the actual operational part of the business. Thats why IT needs to ask itself one easy question.

“How does this help my business do X”? Where X is what the company does to create revenue. For E&P companies it would be “How does this help my business drill for oil”? or for a bank it would be, “How does this help my business provide financial services”? I find that question is often forgotten. I am no saint myself. I have caught myself on a  number of occasions trying to push initiaties based on what would enhance IT without thinking about how would it enhance the business. It’s an easy trap to slip into.

You see IT can truely align itself with the business and learn the business process it can integrate itself into the business, and truely be able to create a mesurable impact to its companies ability to compete in the market place. Once it accomplishes that, it can start looking ahead and be truely proactive about providing solutions and services, but before then. IT will just be merely keeping the lights on and executing expensive projects that truely won’t make an impact.

So I challenge my fellow industry collegeues to ask themselves that question this next week. If you find that your well aligned great, but if you find that you aren’t. Well… you just identified an oppurtunity to improve.


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