Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Governance & Business-IT Alignment

Many organizations struggle to build synergy across their IT departments. They turn to consultants for expertise on unifying IT; obtaining assessments of their current IT alignment and maturity as well as recommendations for improvements. The organizations apply some of the recommendations, and adopt various methods and standards as a basis for aligning IT disciplines. Yet, in the end, they must ask themselves, “Did we get the results we expected?”

Governance is essential to establishing and maturing the interfaces between IT disciplines; thereby reducing and eliminating ‘IT Silos’. Governance verifies that we conduct each discipline and exchange information across each inter-discipline interface as we intended. It also validates that what we intended is actually correct. Governance provides management of IT disciplines during their normal operation. It also provides control for these disciplines when issues are encountered and exceptions (exemptions) are required.

Architecture Governance plays a key role in establishing IT alignment with the business. This is critical to validating that what IT intended is actually the correct thing to do for the business. It ensures that the Enterprise Architecture and Roadmaps conform to the business strategy and plans. The strategic alignment establishes a solid foundation for unifying IT.

Architecture Governance further contributes to IT unity through its integrations with other IT disciplines. It ensures that each Target Architecture, a milestone along the Enterprise Architecture Roadmap, furthers the strategic alignment while balancing short-term and long-term objectives. The resulting models and documents provide direction for the subsequent IT disciplines that develop and operate IT solutions.

Through Architecture Governance, professionals executing the IT disciplines are assured that their efforts are focused on doing the right things for the right reasons.

__ Joseph Starwood (www.JosephStarwood.com)

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