by Ben Worthen

3 Big Steps to Successful IT/Business Alignment

Apr 01, 20031 min
Business IT Alignment

Alignment among business executives and CIOs is hard to come by. Rankings processes such as those invented by Christine Modie, executive vice president and CIO of Massachusetts Mutual Financial Group, and Sheleen Quish, vice president of corporate marketing and global CIO of U.S. Can, do much to minimize corporate infighting. But you need to go beyond that to get to alignment, experts say.

1 Show your business acumen. A CIO who works toward alignment will be rebuffed if he can’t be counted on as a business leader as well as a technology expert. This is why it was important for Modie to show her colleagues that she could run her unit in a businesslike manner.

2 Make business execs understand IT. Alignment isn’t just for the CIO; it’s a job for the businesspeople too. If your colleagues don’t know what technology can do for them, then all discussions are a one-way street.

3 Remember that alignment is all about relationships. William Ulrich, head of the Soquel, Calif.-based Tactical Strategy Group, says, “A strong working relationship is the most important thing. A CIO without one is not going to succeed.”