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Six Fundamentals for Aligning IT With Business

IT can be effective by following six steps, John Oglesby says.

John Oglesby, a longtime IT executive and principal of Technology Planning Partners in Memphis, has identified six fundamentals for aligning IT with business. "There are many things IT can do to be efficient," he says. "But to be effective, alignment must be built on these foundations."

  1. Strategy: IT must understand the firm's products and markets, value proposition, differentiators, driving force, major issues and major thrusts to develop its strategy.

  2. Organization: To get applications right, relationship managers and key application experts must be close to the business so they can readily identify its needs.

  3. Projects: IT projects must be solidly linked to, and indeed derived from, the business plan.

  4. Applications: Applications are IT's core deliverable. Everything the IT organization does must support delivering them.

  5. Infrastructure: Hardware, software and networks must be designed to support business strategy and apps.

  6. Governance: Business leaders must set IT priorities, allocating scarce resources to the most important projects.

-- John Oglesby can be reached at

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