The new rules of IT-business alignment in the digital era

Getting in sync with your organization’s goals has never been more important, or more challenging. Here’s how to align IT and business strategy for digital success.

The new rules of IT-business alignment in the digital era
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Dell and VMware CIO Bask Iyer has a complaint. He wants IT industry experts, speakers at IT conferences, and publications like this one to stop telling CIOs that if they don’t move with the times they are likely to lose their jobs. “Every meeting, every year, they say CIOs who don’t do something are going to get fired,” he says. “That narrative has to change.”

Instead, he thinks experts and executives should recognize that CIOs may have the most difficult role in the C-suite. “None of the executive jobs change as fast,” he says. “The rate of change of technology is exponential, and the increase in companies’ dependence on technology is growing exponentially as well. And humans can’t understand exponential increases.”

Many of those ignore-this-and-you-might-get-fired warnings have centered on IT-business alignment. IT leaders who focus too much on technology and not enough on their businesses’ specific needs risk making themselves irrelevant, experts cautioned. That’s still true.

But in today’s world of everything-as-a-service, with technology increasingly moving outside IT’s direct control and most organizations striving for digital transformation, aligning IT strategy with business strategy looks very different than it did a few years ago. And success in this essential area is governed by a whole new rulebook. Here’s how to make IT-business alignment work in today’s world.

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