It's time for CIOs to do a reality check: The state of alignment is not as strong as it seems. While more than 80 percent of the 588 IT and 533 business executives we polled for this month's CIO Insight survey say IT is well aligned, business executives give IT lower marks for alignment than other departments, and most alignment goals are being achieved by just 50 to 70 percent of companies that target them. Vague strategies and weak IT leadership are two of the reasons, but there's another critical factor: corporate and departmental culture. This year's study uncovers an undeniable connection between a company's culture and IT alignment. When a collaborative rather than autocratic culture reigns, and companies can adapt to changes in their market and environment, IT is much more likely to be aligned. The alignment riddle can't be solved by focusing solely on the IT department; it requires cultural change throughout the company.