Moving beyond IT alignment

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Moving beyond IT alignment
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We recommend a three-tiered approach to delivering best-in-class business/IT governance: a business/IT council, an advisory committee, and a group that includes business-process managers and various departments within IT.

These action steps can help you implement and refine the governance framework.

Obtain buy-in from stakeholders

The important pre-adoption challenge to dynamic synchronization is obtaining buy-in from both business units and IT for establishing the governance process. This is best overcome through sustained communication that originates from the CEO—who, among other things, initiates the business/IT council and advisory committee. In addition to traditional E-mail communication, it's essential to have live Q&A sessions that address any concerns that process and IT teams may have. The senior executives and CEO must articulate the significance of aligning this governance process to the business model.

Another part of the buy-in process involves communicating how business/IT governance objectives will benefit business units both individually and collectively. This includes both operational and strategic objectives, along with scorecards that measure whether these objectives are achieved. It's important for all participants to know early on that in addition to tactical IT project metrics, there are ways to measure how well IT is aligned with current and future business strategies. Executives often don't have a good sense of current performance, as the metrics in the scorecards fail to capture all relevant information.

Adopt the new framework
Initially, adopting the new framework may prove arduous, even to the point of derailing the process and impeding dynamic synchronization. To mitigate problems, the business/IT council must draw up and administer a detailed plan for the enterprise. It's prudent to have a full-time program manager for the council to help keep the governance process on track.

One way to make adoption easier is to have frameworks, templates, and timetables published wherever possible. This is a must for activities like segmenting and prioritizing IT investments, and for making business cases.

Keep dynamic synchronisation on track
The real business impact of the governance framework kicks in when business and IT work together to change demand management and the segmentation and prioritisation processes.

Senior management must continue to monitor developments closely and adhere to the plan.

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