An early 2009 Forrester interview with the CIO of a retail firm produced a great quote: “Our business execs have two views of IT: a big budget blob or their BlackBerry.” Now, maybe those retail business execs think of IT as a strategic budget blob, but it’s more likely that’s a shop with alignment issues. If that CIO’s business execs don’t see technology as enabling anything more than mobile email, then they really don’t get the power of technology and they’re not going to see the value in the IT department.
But alignment issues are not limited to shops where business execs don’t see value in technology. The whole IT-to-BT transition is about how the business is enthusiastically embracing technology – they’re just not bothering to go through the IT department to find it, deploy it, or use it. Today’s alignment problem is more about the gap between the business’s valuation of technology’s potential and their valuation of the IT department’s ability to deliver on that potential.
Creating and demonstrating value continues to be a critical issue for many EA teams. Forrester believes that architects can have greater impact by tightly tying their activities to value levers their organizations care about and demonstrating how EA supports IT goals. Why does value continue to be a top-of-mind issue for EAs? Why don’t organizations recognize and appreciate EA’s value? Forrester is conducting a research initiative to assess the state of the market and identify best practices successful EA teams use to create and demonstrate value.
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