The alignment of business and IT has been a chief management concern for more than two decades. Two recent surveys revealed that it continues to be a top priority for CIOs in 2009. A contributing issue is the lack of functional relationships between business and IT units, complicated by the complexity of the service delivery mechanism.
What is business-IT alignment? How does IT align itself with the business when the business itself is not aligned? While enterprise architecture originated in the IT organization, its scope must expand beyond IT to maximize its benefit to the organization. SOA and BPM have both refocused their attention on “business architecture”, but what does the term really mean?
Making the Mix Work
Ensuring that IT is aligned with business remains a top concern among the nation’s leading CIOs, according to an annual survey conducted by the Society for Information Management (SIM).
However, with the help of enterprise architects, this critical issue can be alleviated, allowing CIOs to focus on other issues such as retaining and attracting IT professionals, another top concern on this year’s list.
(Editor's Note: What follows is an excerpt from Chapter 3 of Klaus D. Niemann’s book From Enterprise Architecture to IT Governance–Elements of Effective IT Management. Niemann is the Managing Director of act! Consulting GmbH (http://www.act-consulting.de/), which specializes in enterprise architecture and IT governance. Niemann has more than 20 years of first-hand experience in this area. His book can be purchased at Amazon.com.