Whiteboard: How to Improve IT-Business Alignment

By CIOinsight  |  Posted 11-01-2001

Alignment is the perennial chart-topper on top-ten lists of IT issues. Educating line management on technology's possibilities and limitations is hard; so is setting IT priorities for projects, developing resources and skills, and integrating systems with corporate strategy. It's even tougher to keep business and IT aligned as business strategies and technology evolve. There's no silver-bullet solution, but achieving alignment is possible. A decade of research has found that the key is building the right relationships and processes, and providing necessary training. What follows is a methodology developed by Professor Jerry Luftman for assessing how ready your company or business unit is to create, improve and sustain alignment. Modeled after the Capability Maturity Model developed by Carnegie Mellon's Software Engineering Institute, but focused on a more strategic set of criteria, this new tool is gaining recognition: It has been successfully tested at more than 25 Fortune 500 companies and is currently the subject of a benchmarking study sponsored by the Society for Information Management and The Conference Board.

The tool is available in Adobe Acrobat PDF format for screen viewing and printing.

Jerry Luftman is the executive director and distinguished service professor for the graduate information systems programs at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J., and editor of Competing in the Information Age (Oxford University Press, 1996). He is a former IBM CIO who held numerous executive positions in his 22 years at IBM.