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We think the old 'island of IT' is a concept that is dead in the water. We believe that we should not just be concerned with 'aligning business and IT', but that we should be busy integrating IT into the business. We believe the time has come for business and IT to fuse.
Over the course of the last fifteen years of study and research into the field of alignment, a number of models have proven to be extremely valuable, or at least interesting, to look at the business & IT alignment domain.
Are these models still relevant in a Fusion context ? Absolutely, because these models can be used in the transition towards a state of Fusion, and can in a lot of cases form a source of inspiration to look at the dialogue between business and IT.
What type of people do you need in a Fusion process ? For a very long time, we've hired extremely technical specialists into our IT departments, and we have created armies of semi-autistic, communicationally-challenged deep-technical Nerds. In a Fusion concept, we need a new breed of professionals, with a new blend of skills and competencies.
When you transform your IT department, the most important priority should be on people and culture. They are the foundation of the new IT.
In the successful transformation of IT, perhaps the Fusion of IT and business, no factor is as determinate and as crucial as the profile of the CIO.
That's why we think it is useful to spend a short section on the evolving role of the CIO, and on the type of profile that will be necessary as CIO going forward.
Building up the communication skills, and developing a marketing mindset within IT is just part of an overall approach to strive towards better IT alignment, and a totally new relationship between business and IT. Today, more than ever before in our careers in IT, we have to be pro-active in reaching out to the business. Building a better communication will be essential in our drive to radiate IT leadership.
Most IT departments have set up IT Governance purely in a 'monitor and control' mentality, burdening the IT department with extremely heavy compliancy, rules and procedures, and with the result that the business customer of IT now is confronted with a bureaucratic IT apparatus that kills all creativity, flexibility and innovation.
If we go from IT Governance to the concept of Intelligent Governance, and turn the static budgeting process into a dynamic portfolio mechanism, then we can truly revive the Governance domain from a sluggish bottleneck into an accelerator of change and a catalyst for the Fusion process between business and IT.
Architecture will be a key component in rethinking IT. Architecture should provide us with the tools and the mechanisms to not just think about today, but about the future of using technology in our companies.
The rethinking of the role of architecture means that we will have to focus on the real importance of an organization, about the soul of the organization, and that starts with the operational model. This is the core DNA of the company and the lifeblood that is at the very heart of everything we do. Enterprise architecture should become a weapon of change: instead of a static interpretation of the current, it should become an instrument for dealing with the constant flux.