Avoiding the Alignment Trap in Intormation Technology Essay

1696 Words May 23rd, 2013 7 Pages

Executive Summary

An alarming pattern has surfaced in that many companies are concentrating on alignment and are finding that their performance is either declining or moving sideways. Companies are focusing on the wrong solutions with respect to their Information Technology problems, resulting in severe bottlenecks to growth. Companies need to learn how to break out of the trap and build IT organizations that allow for growth rather than obstruct it. Companies will need to be committed as doing so will require a continuous effort.

The essential goal for these companies in order to succeed is to move IT into the upper-right quadrant, where they will be highly
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- Redundant applications that perform the same or similar functions.
- Outsourcing the wrong activities.
- Data in multiple information systems are viewed as “garbage” and producing inconsistencies (i.e. salespeople are promoting products that are discontinued)
- In companies similar to Charles Schwab & Co. for example: IT staff response have become slow and expensive; IT engineers are spending more time fixing bugs in the systems than ever before; and several big and ambitious projects are overdue and preventing the company from being competitive.


The following criteria will be used to evaluate each of the alternatives:

- IT spending must be aligned with the company’s growth strategies (need to reduce IT costs i.e. savings on software licensing costs where bleeding money, and head count).
- Must be shared ownership and shared governance of IT projects.
- Need to reduce complexity (or emphasize simplicity).
- Increase efficiency (doing things in a cost effective way with no duplication of time and effort).
- Economically feasible.
- IT infrastructure to support networked operations in multiple locations.
- Need to centralize and simplify the IT functions.

- Need high effectiveness to achieve an objective through the use of:
1. simplicity (or reducing complexity) – by implementing companywide standards, replacing legacy
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