Business-IT alignment efforts are a mainstay in most CIO’s agendas. And enterprise architects’ business architecture initiatives take that a step further, aspiring to find a nirvana where creating, vetting, and maintaining business architectures that map to well thought-out business strategies are regularly occurring activities (see the Forrester report, "Business Architecture's Time Has Come"). Then aligning application, information, and technical architectures completes the loop, and there’s plenty of information to feed into innovation incubators, too. The IT organization and the architecture become aligned and the IT strategic plan practically writes itself
A recent Forrester snap-survey shows that 41% of IT decision-makers are seeing their relationships with business peers strengthen in response to economic conditions. And only 13% feel that the relationships have been harmed — being pushed back into more of a support role. These figures suggest that IT has the opportunity to play a lead role in bottom-line drivers — well beyond cost reduction. Smart IT leaders know that now is their chance to redefine IT’s value to the enterprise.
The bigger question is: What should IT leaders do to capitalize on this opportunity? We at Forrester have our ideas (hey, we’re a firm full of analysts so there’s no shortage of opinions here). Some that come to mind are:
In the current economic climate it’s not a surprise that many of the conversations I have with clients tend to revolve around IT budgets, the cost of IT, and what if anything can be done about it.
Unfortunately, for many IT organizations, cost is the only metric they have that their customers understand. And so it is the one that gets most of the attention. These conversations with clients usually take one of two directions. The first one focuses on how IT can cut costs quickly and effectively without “throwing the baby out with the bath water” so to speak. This is the realist’s approach. The second one is a plea for help in justifying the existing or planned budget to business executives. This is the idealist’s approach. More often than not the end result is the same - IT budgets are cut without regard to impact on the business and everyone suffers.