Business and IT Strategy – 2016

As the New Year begins, most IT service providers already have their IT strategy in place.   A few decades ago we heard loud and clear… “You must align IT with the business”.  Then we heard in the next decade…  IT...”You must align with the business”.  Notice the focus was on what “IT” must do.  I believe that most IT organizations get that.  The real question when considering a strategy is how this can be achieved.  Or is it?  

I hope that moving forward the new mantra will be “Hello business”… “You must engage IT in order to ensure success.”  If the strategy does not include how the business is going to consistently engage, plan and strategize with the IT organization it is possible that the business strategy will not ensure the type of success that is hoped for and could continue to miss the mark.

A recent BizReport article by Kristina Knight states; "During 2016, the perception that developers are basement-dwelling, socially-awkward techies with no grasp on business reality will continue to be shattered.  As "software eats the world," and as companies change their core competency from "shifting atoms" to using software to delight customers, developers will become distributed across lines of business and into the C-suite as they create business processes in software in real time. As a result, companies will need to publicly change their image, as well as changing their internal thinking.

While you might not be ready to put developers in the board room, at the very least we have to consider representation for all areas of the IT value and delivery stream and how to engage them in the business strategy and process.  This includes Process Owners, Service Owners, Engineers, Developers and most importantly representation for the ongoing operations of any service or product.

IT Strategies should instigate action to bust out of silos.   Not only Silo’s within IT but we should also consider the big chasm between the Business side of the house and that of IT and the technical side of provisioning services.  Also as we look forward we can no longer afford to silo our governance, standards and best practices.    We know that business performance is directly related to IT performance.  It only makes sense to have an integrated strategy.   What is your strategy for 2016 and moving forward?  Does it include an integrated and iterative approach that leverages Agile, Lean and ITSM? 

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