Aligning IT with the Business

Factors Influencing Value Delivery

Published/updated: January 2006


The majority of IT Departments acknowledge perceived shortcomings
When 100 IT managers were asked to list the top three IT related requests heard from business management, nine out of ten indicated one or more perceived shortcomings.

Business managers say IT should become both more efficient and effective
It is common for business managers to wish that IT would generate more value in line with business needs and priorities, communicate and engage with the business more effectively, and deliver solutions and services more quickly, reliably and at a lower cost. Between 40% and 50% indicate feedback in each of these three areas. A number of cultural issues are also highlighted.

IT employs a range of methods for coordinating with the business
The most common method of coordinating activity is the nomination of named IT liaison representatives for key areas of the business. A number of other communication and coordination methods are employed, however, ranging from collaborative development of business and IT strategy, through steering committees for key initiatives, to sign-off and budgetary controls.

Delivery of value is enhanced by a broader engagement model
The greater the number of active touch points between IT and the business, the greater the potential for IT to deliver business value. Those employing three or more of the above-mentioned methods see a significant increase in perceived performance.

IT also performs better when it has a full dialogue with the business
Two-way communication and coordination, particularly at a strategic level, enhances the delivery of value over and above the unidirectional flow of information or requirements.

The best performance is achieved through a partnership approach
The most effective approach to delivering value is a full partnership between IT and the business with joint strategy, planning and investment decision-making.

Source of Data: This report is based on a study completed in January 2006 in which 100 IT managers were interviewed on the relationship with their peers in the business. Respondents happened to be from the UK financial services sector (mixture of SMB and corporate), but readers will recognise many of the comments and issues discussed within this report as being relevant to most types of organisation.

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