From left: T.C. Seow, Mike Rhoads, Sebastian Jammer, Mike O'Rourke
Business and IT alignment has always been the talk of the boardroom. Yet, aligning IT to business strategy remains one of the most important challenges for many organisations. CIO Asia discovers why and how organisations can overcome them.
Creating an effective business strategy and executing it through technology is inextricably linked in today’s business landscape. It is a key success factor for organisations to thrive in such a dynamic environment. Yet, achieving alignment between business and IT strategies is an elusive task for most organisations.
In most organisations, the transformation from a good to a great organisation seems to be at a standstill. To understand why, CIO Asia organised an exclusive breakfast briefing on 8 February 2012, themed “Sustainable Growth Through Business - IT Alignment”.
Sponsored by IBM, this event saw delegates from different industries gather at Sheraton Towers Singapore to learn about the issues that they must address in order to move forward and how they can solve the complexities involved.
The briefing began with a summary of the key findings of the “State of Asian CXO Survey” conducted by CIO Asia in mid-2011. According to the survey, the top management priority was to align IT and business goals, followed by business and IT innovation, understanding the business environment, and the ability to control costs while improving efficiencies.
“The key benefit of aligning business and IT to create a competitive advantage is logical and undisputed. Yet, when it comes to actual practice, organisations are still facing costs and implementation problems,” said T.C. Seow, editor of CIO Asia and moderator of the breakfast briefing. “As such, many organisations have yet to realise the value of IT.”
Wiring Strategy and Execution Together
A generally accepted approach by organisations in developing their IT strategy is to base it on their business strategy. However, today’s businesses are moving too fast for this traditional model.
“Realising the value of IT is not impossible if you have the right processes and tools in place,” said Mike Rhoads, Director for Rational Software, IBM Software Group. “The missing link between strategy and execution is having the right Application Portfolio Management and Enterprise Architecture framework. This is the key to ensuring that an organisation’s priorities are clearly understood throughout the organisation.”
According to Rhoads, an Application Portfolio Management (APM) solution is a nothing more than a tool to provide the organisation a simplified way of gathering the information they need. This tool will help the organisation quickly analyse the information and present it in a manner so that the executive team can make the right investment decisions. In other words, it is about using process and automation to help choose and prioritise what the organisation should be working on.
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