The Strategic Alignment of Information Technology

February 09, 2005
7:30 to 10:00 AM
Fox/Gittis Foyer
Liacouras Center
Temple University Main Campus

Ever since the first management information system was implemented in a business setting, there have been questions about how well (or not) information technology aligns with business objectives. Proponents have variously claimed that IT should be aligned with business objectives, or that it is really IT innovation that drives new business models and strategy. Over time our understanding of the nuances of these extreme positions has become more sophisticated with concepts such as eBusiness, business re-engineering, strategic agility, and others.

The role of the CIO and technology has dramatically changed in the past 5 – 10 years. If the CIO is not business savvy he/she will not be successful. But that is not all, the panel agreed unanimously that this is not a technical issue – but rather a business issue. To further break it down it is a relationship (with CEO & other C-level execs), communication and education issue. Various techniques were discussed on how to practically approach these issues; such as, Management Automation Committee with the Chair as a Senior Finance person, formally educate (update) your peers on a regular basis and your Board on a semi-annual basis. In addition hallway conversations and lunches prove very beneficial – great social skills are very important. In addition presenting to the CEO a strategy followed by a system to purchase is a bad idea – the gap analysis or business process between the strategy and the system is crucial to the CEO. Other successful techniques included creating a roadmap and key performance metrics as part of your plan. In summation the topic is very broad and skewed heavily based on the culture and processes in place in your industry and company. This makes a ‘silver bullet’ solution impossible, the successful alignment is the result of solid technology processes, relationships with senior management and a clear understanding of your business objectives.

Panelists

  • Dr. Mathias Kirchmer, CEO, IDS Scheer North America
  • Jim Lanzalotto, Vice President of Strategy & Marketing, Yoh
  • Glenn Meglino, Director, Global Assurance Technology, Deloitte Services LP
  • Louis Pellicori, Executive Vice President/Chief Information and Operations Officer, Sun National Bank
  • Rudy Wolfs, Chief Technology Officer & Chief Information Officer, ING Direct USA

Moderator

  • Michael Palmer, Executive VP & CIO, Allied Office Products, Inc. Allied Office Products