Business-IT Alignment

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Thecurrent business environment has changed drastically from thetraditional way of doing things. Thechange has been propelled by the emergence of technologywithin the business setting. Technology has become a crucial tool inbusiness as it offers a competitiveadvantage. Businesses havefelt the need to incorporate information technology (IT) within theirstructures,but the act of aligning IT with other functions has been an uphilltask. The chief information officer is atthe center of the alignment process,and this paper will focus on how the CIO can bring ethos into thealignment process.

Thechief information officer is expected to understand the needs to theorganization when it comes to aligning business functions such asmarketing and finance with IT. Strategic planning is crucial toensuring the alignment of IT with the businessserves the needs of the organization in the future (Luftman, 2003).The CIO needs to look at how the IT is in harmony with the business.They will need to focus on the enablers and the inhibitors ofbusiness-IT alignment. Thisensuresthat they can minimize the inhibitors while working to enhance theenablers. The maininformation will also bring ethos into the process by ensuringthe business functions and IT are adapting strategies together(Luftman, 2003). The CIO will also need to check the strategicalignment of the organization. Thisis donethrough the checking communication maturity, governance maturity,partnership maturity, skills maturity, scope and architecturematurity, and competence maturity.

Aligningthe business functions and information technologyensures the companycan plan strategically for the future. Strategic alignment needs tobetakenas a process. The methodincludes setting goals, understanding business-IT linkage, analyzeand prioritize gaps, specify actions, choose and evaluate successcriteria, and sustaining alignment. The chief information officer isa crucial part of the arrangementprocess,and they ensure the process isdonein an ethical manner.


Luftman,J. (2003) Assessing Business/IT Alignment. Information SystemManagement, 9-15.

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