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Out Of Alignment?

Getting IT and business managers on the same page is a frequent topic of conversation these days. Most IT managers I speak to bring up that desire to work closely with their business counterparts, unprompted. But efforts to achieve that alignment don't always result in the business benefits both executives and IT professionals seek to achieve. Optimize magazine's most recent survey of CIOs of Fortune 3000 companies found that too many fail to see that for that alignment to succeed, businesses need to consider the impact of projects on end users and the business as a whole.That may seem like an incredibly obvious point, but the Optimize survey found that too often businesses miss it. IT aims to please business execs and end users - and corporate shareholders - are less than satisified with the results. The Optimize study found that in cases where IT is too focused on pleasing execs and not conscious enough of end user needs and overall business goals, senior execs win, having their every need met and the latest in gadgets at the expense of end users and often the company as a whole.

One sign of a problem is good but not excellent end users IT satisfaction ratings. Some companies see that as evidence of balance - in their estimation, excellent scores would be indicative that IT is "overserving" end users.

So what is the solution? Simply put, IT execs need to be focused on the bigger picture. For IT to truly be aligned to serve the business as a whole, that means understanding corporate priorities and working to meet the goals associated with fufilling those.