Is IT Process Management the Key To Business Alignment?

January, 2004

IT organizations have been hearing a lot these days about the importance of IT and Business Alignment. However, despite the prophesized benefits of this management concept, the majority of organizations that have engaged in a “formal” alignment project have achieved only mediocre results.

Since IT management and its staff members are usually too busy and/or ill-equipped to guide their company through such an initiative, typically the first step is to engage the services of a consulting firm that specializes in this area. Trouble can begin almost immediately, since choosing the right approach is no easy matter. Each consulting firm offers its own unique methodology – meaning the choices can be almost endless.

A recent survey by Computer Economics indicates that there may be a common denominator between IT organizations that have not achieved an effective IT and business alignment strategy and those IT organizations that are not managing their internal processes effectively. We polled approximately 100 managers on the effectiveness they have achieved in these two management areas, the results are shown in Figure 1.

How Effective Is Your IT Organization In Managing the Following Strategies?










IT Process Management





IT & Business Alignment





Computer Economics survey of approximately 100 IT managers

A whopping 70% of the respondents stated they are not doing a good job of managing key IT processes, while 61% stated they have not achieved the level of IT and business alignment they desired. Almost without exception, the organizations that reported a poor record of managing internal IT processes also reported ineffective alignment results. Is there a direct relationship? The answer to that question for many organizations is probably – yes.

Failing to develop formal and integrated strategies for such key IT processes as implementation, problem, change, performance, security, customer, and vendor management (to name a few), can severely limit the ability of the IT personnel charged with managing these tasks. An alignment strategy that fails to incorporate a solid IT process management foundation may be doomed from the start. Computer Economics highly recommends that IT management choose an IT alignment strategy (and consulting organization) that focuses on the development of an overall IT Process Architecture methodology.

January 2003