Should business strategy be tightly coupled with IT investment? No of course not, says the business executive. That would be putting the cart before the horse. That would mean that the business strategy would have to be focused on extracting value from IT capability. That would mean we couldn't change business direction faster than the IT planning cycle. No way.
There is undoubtedly a problem in the relationship between business and IT. Many people are convinced that the solution to this problem is something called "business IT alignment". Challenged by a reader who suggests that this alignment is just more waffle, Neil Ward Dutton insists that alignment has three elements
- aligning IT investment with business strategy
- aligning IT delivery with business priorities
- aligning IT change with business change.
Perhaps we should be talking instead about business IT liberation - freeing business from the constraints of IT investment by decoupling the business from IT. In other words, the opposite of alignment. Isn't this what SOA is all about?
Discussion continues at Business IT Alignment 2 (July 2006)
See also my Architecture posts on BPM and SOA.