Alignment is Dead

And then, as your review of the state of the state is complete (with the slides to prove it!), then consider whether you have the organizational structure that your company needs. Are there services, including business services like any form of transaction processing or shared, technology­-dependent expertise that you can help centralize to streamline processes and tighten costs? Are there senior business staff that you can recruit and count on to work out in the field to influence achieving changes that executives agree are necessary in these difficult economic times? Do you need to promote a COO of IT to run the day-to-day, freeing your time as lead evangelist?

Finally, but most important, get the metrics right. Choose business, not IT- centric metrics and assign them to your executives. Reducing energy cost, for example, is a business metric, not an IT metric. And therefore, incorporate the data center consolidation and virtualization cost savings into the firm’s general metrics for reduction of energy consumption. If there is no corporate metric, then lead the way to creating and tracking one. Your staff is now senior and business aware enough to help in understanding, articulating, and tracking metrics that matter.

Now an independent consultant, Laurie M. Orlov is a long time practitioner and industry observer. She has over 33 years of IT experience, the last 9 years as a VP and principal analyst, research director and consultant at Forrester Research. Prior to joining Forrester, Laurie held senior IT management positions in various high-tech companies, most recently as a CIO, driving the implementation of eCommerce-based ERP solutions for a mid-market PC reseller.