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IT-Business Alignment Prompting Tech Role Changes

As a musician and music lover, among of the cultural phenomena I have noticed recently are "tribute" concerts and CDs. Often they pay homage to a recently departed legend such as Curtis Mayfield, George Harrison or Ray Charles. A group of well-known and semi-known "names" get together and work their way through a particular artist's or band's songbook, mostly (but not always) doing a pretty faithful and heartfelt take on familiar tunes.

The thing I find really fascinating is the diverse mix of musicians who participate, and how out of context they can seem at first. The most extreme example is a recent KISS tribute CD. In addition to the usual lineup of rockers, you'll also find country music star Garth Brooks and soul music legend Stevie Wonder. While those two might seem incongruous to the whole head banging, hedonistic late 70s/early 80s experience that KISS was (and curiously is again) somehow they manage to make it all work—and work well.

It's a lot like what's happening in IT these days. Ever since the bubble burst the chorus has been "we need to align IT with business goals." Many companies are still repeating it as though it is a future event.

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Yet, my take is that for a growing number of diverse companies, from very different business contexts, alignment is happening. A few companies are fully orchestrated, and many individuals are thriving in innovative IT departments and business units that are making it work, and managing it well. They won't be quitting their day jobs.

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