“After changes upon changes, we are more or less the same.”
-Paul Simon, The Boxer
Paul Simon could have been an IT consultant. He might have foreseen that many of the alignment issues that arose when the first IT departments were formed would still be with us some 20 to 30 years later. Of course, there has been progress. In most cases, IT and business strategy have become better aligned. Though the gap is closing, more often than not, there is still a divide between an organization’s objectives and IT strategy, wherein IT is seen as a corporate service—an enabler rather than a driver of business goals. (If you believe simply fulfilling corporate orders means you’re aligned, think again.)
In this special issue, we devote all our feature articles to bringing you the latest views of and techniques for managing alignment. Why We’re Still Talking About Alignment (Page 68) starts the show with a historical perspective and current view of the alignment climate. A forum of board level executives and CIOs discuss their respective views and arrive at eight “commandments” for resolving alignment issues in Come Together (Page 79).
The View from the Top (Page 96) offers the wisdom of CIOs who have moved up the executive ladder. Check Your Alignment (Page 109) gives you a chance to examine your company’s alignment quotient. Need to present a proposal? How to Communicate Value (Page 116), Memo from the CFO (Page 132) and Money Talk (Page 143) all give you the tools to talk turkey. Now They’re Cooking! (Page 152) and Heartbreak Hotels (Page 164) provide a look at how things work in both a well-aligned and a misaligned organization. Rack up some miles following a global CIO in The World According to Deasy (Page 176). We cap off the feature focus on alignment with a full-length feature starring CIO’s own comic strip hero, Maynard (Page 186)…