Sit Down and Talk
It really boils down to trust. When the IT organization is trusted by its customers, it has more latitude to avoid the micromanagement and nitpicking about the dollars that is bound to alienate its business cohorts. If you can get to the core of the relationship between IT and the business and begin to diffuse the tension between the two, you will improve IT's ability to serve the strategy of the business. The most important step to improving the alignment of IT with business strategy is for IT leadership to open a candid dialogue with corporate and business unit executives. Together, they should challenge the effects and benefits of their IT finance policies. Together, they can consider whether current practices serve the best interest of the company as a whole, or if they constrain it. Together, they can commit not just to following the money, but to managing IT spending for competitive advantage.
Step by Step
The following prescriptions suggest a path to improved alignment through IT finance policy:
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