The 2004 CIO Insight Annual Partners in Alignment Award


CIO Insight has created the Partners in Alignment Award to recognize companies that best exemplify how IT and business can align behind the common goal of delivering value to the company’s shareholders. Since all alignment strategies require a sustainable partnership between IT and the business units, and a clear business strategy that is communicated throughout the organization, we have created this award to recognize the collaboration and communication that is required for a successful business-IT partnership. This award is given annually to the company that best meets our selection criteria.

In 2002 there was a tie, and we awarded the prize to both UPS and Capital One. In 2003 the winner was Harrah’s Entertainment. The 2004 award was presented at a special Awards Dinner at the Rainbow Room in New York on November 9, 2004 to Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America. Special plaques were also given to Countrywide Financial Corporate and PFPC Worldwide Inc. for their outstanding alignment achievements.


To be selected, an organization must be headquartered in North America and be a public company. All entrants must meet—and be able to demonstrate—the following 6 criteria:

  • A clearly articulated business strategy and IT strategy;
  • Communications and management processes that foster alignment between IT and business;
  • Governance structures that support alignment;
  • Proof of the investment in technology required to execute or accelerate the company’s business strategy and of metrics that measure the value of IT investments;
  • Proof of measurable results in such areas as revenue, profit and market share growth; customer retention and customer satisfaction; cost-cutting and productivity; and
  • Human resource and management practices that encourage a culture of collaboration and foster business-IT alignment.


    To help the judges better understand how alignment between IT and the business helps your company carry out its business strategy and achieve strong business results, we require the submission of the following information—each in two formats, electronic and paper:

  • ENTRY FORM: A completed entry form, available in pdf format from our web site (, must be signed by the CIO and the CEO (or president of the CIO’s business unit). The paper form must be signed and returned by mail, but the electronic version returned by e-mail or burned onto a CD does not require signature. Entry forms must be filled out completely or entrants may be disqualified.
  • SUMMARY STATEMENT: All entries must include a typewritten statement (not to exceed four single-spaced pages) to the judges summarizing how the organization meets each of the 6 selection criteria itemized in the section on “criteria.” This written statement—provided electronically and in hard copy—is an important part of the judging process: it should clearly explain, with specific examples, how your company meets our criteria, including details on each of the following:

      1. STRATEGY – What is your organization’s business strategy and IT strategy? Include information on the current business goals of the company and how they are clearly articulated throughout the organization, as well as details on the accompanying IT strategies that support them. Supporting documentation should demonstrate how business and IT strategy is communicated throughout the organization;

      2. PROCESS – What are the processes specific to your organization that foster alignment? Processes should be self-reinforcing and inculcated through day-to-day activities of the business and IT units;

      3. GOVERNANCE – What governance structures exist in your organization to support alignment? Examples can include organization structure, reporting relationships, formal IT strategy planning, formal business strategy planning, the role of IT in helping determine business strategy, how IT spending decisions are made and financed, how IT budgets are created;

      4. TECHNOLOGY – What technology investments have helped the company execute or accelerate its business strategy? Such investments should demonstrate that IT is an enabler or driver of business strategy and show how these investments are used, measured and monitored;

      5. FINANCIALS – What are the measurable financial results that enable the organization to meet our criteria? (For example, revenue, profit or market share growth, cost savings, customer retention, customer satisfaction and productivity). Where possible, these results should be related to the performance of key competitors or industry benchmarks; and

      6. CORPORATE CULTURE – What are the human resources and management practices that encourage a culture of collaboration and foster business-IT alignment? Be sure to include information on hiring processes, compensation and ways the organization rewards alignment.

  • SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION (not to exceed 25 pages): Additional corporate or external information clearly marked for its support of one or more of the 6 selection criteria required in the written statement, can include: pertinent published articles on the company; annual reports and other financial documents required by the SEC; copies of internal documents (memos, newsletters, presentations, etc.) that provide information about strategy, processes and practices, and illustrate how your company communicates, encourages and measures its IT and business strategy. (NOTE: You are required to submit both an electronic and paper copy of all your documentation. If you are unable to provide an electronic version, please include 10 paper copies of those supporting documents.) Documentation will not be returned.


    The judges for this year’s Partners in Alignment Award were selected by CIO Insight’s executive editorial staff based on the judges’ experience in helping companies excel at creating alignment between IT and business. The decisions of the judges are final. The judges for 2004 are:

  • Robert S. Gold, Vice President, Balanced Scorecard Collaborative Inc.
  • Faisal Hoque, Founder and CEO, Enamics Inc.; Founder and Chair of the BTM Institute
  • James R. Kinney, President, Mariner Consulting Inc.
  • Dale Kutnick, Chairman, META Group, Inc.
  • Jerry Luftman, Distinguished Professor, Stevens Institute of Technology School of Management
  • Richard L. Nolan, Philip M. Condit Professor of Business Administration, University of Washington; William Barclay Harding Professor of Management of Technology (Emeritus), Harvard Business School
  • Tim Stanley, Chief Information Officer, Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc.
  • Edward Tunstall, Cofounder of Tunstall Consulting and former Information Officer of Eli Lilly
  • Richard T. Watson, J. Rex Fuqua Distinguished Chair for Internet Strategy, Department of MIS, University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business; Director of the Center for Information Systems Leadership


    Details on the 2005 Partners in Alignment Award will be posted early in 2005. If you have any questions regarding the award, please contact Editorial Assistant Sheena Mohan at or 212 503 5632.

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    CIO Insight Staff
    CIO Insight Staff
    CIO Insight offers thought leadership and best practices in the IT security and management industry while providing expert recommendations on software solutions for IT leaders. It is the trusted resource for security professionals who need network monitoring technology and solutions to maintain regulatory compliance for their teams and organizations.

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