For years, the rallying cry for the CIO has been to align IT with “The Business.” This presupposes that there is a wall between IT and other functions and processes within an organization, which of course we know to be the case. While nearly every business function that lives in its own silo has challenges integrating with other functions within the organization, IT has been particularly challenged because of the technology-centric reality of its world; while other functions may not necessarily have a direct impact on the value chain, IT is often viewed as being completely disconnected from it in many organizations.
Technology vendors have long targeted the CIO with messaging that implies an understanding of ITs alignment pain, and they have offered myriad remedies for closing the gap between IT and the underlying business processes that create value in an organization. Everything from enterprise applications to network management tools have promised to lead beleagured CIOs to the Shangri-La of “IT-Business-Alignment.” Ironically, the technology with the most promise for bridging the IT-business divide has been right here under our noses, but only a relative handful of visionary organizations have embraced it to drive business value.
So if the technology is here, why haven’t the barriers between IT and value-creating business processes crumbled like the Berlin Wall?