Beyond Alignment: Business/IT Fusion in Practice

Beyond Alignment: Business/IT Fusion in Practice

Fusion is about blending IT into the business, and it is a recipe for business integration and innovation. But what are its ingredients and how do you make this happen ?

10 December 2008 (14-21)
Location: Pullman Diegem (Diegem)
Presented in English by
Price: 590 EUR (excl. 21% VAT)

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 Learning Objectives

Why this seminar?

  FREE BOOK with your seminar participation:

Business/IT Fusion. How to move beyond Alignment and transform IT in your organization
(published by Mach Media NV, ISBN: 9789081324236, 280 pages, hardcover)
Get this brandnew book free with your seminar participation.

It has never been more challenging in the world of IT. Yet at the same time the role of IT and the role of the CIO have never been more questioned. This dilemma is a fundamental indicator that were at the tipping point of a dramatic change in IT, a complete repositioning of IT and a need for a totally new breed of IT professionals to tackle these challenges.

The bad news is that the role of IT - and the role of the CIO in particular - has never been scrutinized more than today. In a lot of companies there is very little trust between business and IT and every single incident or issue is seen as an opportunity to highlight the incompetences of the technology department. This is no surprise as only 25% of IT projects are deemed successful and billions are spent on ill-conceived technology projects (according to e.g. Gartner and Standish Group).

In the past 30 years, wonderful models have been developed on the relationship between business and IT. In spite of all these models there has been no major improvement on the trust between business and IT. On the contrary, the trust between business and IT in most companies has never been as bad as it is today.

So we come to a fundamental dilemma: It has never been more challenging in IT, and yet, the relationship between business and IT is at an all time low in terms of trust.

What will you learn during this seminar?

For more than 15 years, we've studied the concept of Alignment between business and IT. Alignment talks about the relationship, positioning and role-patterns between the IT department and the various business functions. Models have been produced, papers have been written, patterns have been identified. We now know more than ever before about the mechanics of Alignment, and still the relationship between business and IT in most companies has never been worse. So, is Alignment a dead-end street ?

We believe the new concept is Fusion. And really, we don't mean that Fusion is just the 'new word' for Alignment. Although the underlying principle remains the same, Fusion holds a much stronger and powerful meaning - where Alignment implicitly calls for a two-party system to collaborate, Fusion is about a strong convergence between the two. Even the two melting together.

Fusion means blending IT into the business, and no longer treating IT as a supplier but completely integrating IT into the business. This has great potential, because instead of wasting a lot of energy in fighting between business and IT, you use this energy in allowing IT professionals to work with the business to deliver results in a more efficient and effective way.

Fusion results in a melting-pot of business and IT thus paving the way for more innovative and integrated business models. Fusion will put IT into the business, and fully into the strategic and operational reality of a business, instead of seeing IT as a 'staff function'.

Fusion will allow companies to focus on Technology-enabled Innovation, instead of just on the commodity-savings potential of technology. Fusion will allow a new type of organization to be created, out of the ashes of the old IT department, that will evolve from an 'executional technology function' towards a 'pro-active strategic innovation function'. Fusion will allow companies to focus on maximizing value from technology innovation. This 'new' way of thinking about IT, is what we refer to as IT 2.0.

It is time for a major transformation of IT. It is time for a quantum leap. For years, the way we have run IT, as a CIO, was to command an army of order-taking specialist workers, an underground army hidden away in the basement of our companies. These reactive armies of craftsmen are a thing of the past. Learn more about Business/IT Fusion, the possibilities of this new way of thinking, and the new role of IT (and of the CIO) at this unique one-day seminar, presented by Peter Hinssen. This seminar is based on Peter's brandnew book "Business/IT Fusion. How to move beyond Alignment and transform IT in your organization" (published by Mach Media NV, ISBN: 9789081324236). You get this book free with your seminar registration, and it is both excellent reading material to reinforce what you have learned at this seminar, and a great tool to implement Business/IT Fusion in your company and transform your IT organization.

What questions will be answered during this seminar?

  • What is Business/IT Alignment, Business/IT Fusion and what is the difference between the two ?
  • What will the new IT organization look like ?
  • How will it function, particularly in its relationship with the business, and with its suppliers ?
  • How can we implement "Intelligent Governance" and move from budget thinking to portfolio thinking ?
  • How will we staff these new IT organizations ?
  • What are the new skills and competencies that will be required from these people ?
  • Better alignment by improved communication: how do you put this into practice?
  • How to build a "new deal" between Business and IT, and how to maintain it?

Who should attend this seminar ?

Both IT and Business people who want to know more about the relationship between business and IT, what the new role of IT (and of the CIO) will be, and how you turn your business-IT cooperation into a pro-active strategic innovative relationship. Ideally, both sides of your company are represented so you can start immediately during this seminar ...

And of course this seminar is a good networking opportunity to meet and exchange ideas with colleagues tackling the same issues as you are.

 Full Programme

Registration with Coffee/Tea and Croissants
  FREE BOOK with your seminar participation:

Business/IT Fusion. How to move beyond Alignment and transform IT in your organization
(published by Mach Media NV, ISBN: 9789081324236, 280 pages, hardcover)
Get this brandnew book free with your seminar participation.

14h00: 1. The past, present and future of IT
2. The Elements of Fusion

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.

  • Why is alignment a dead-end street ?
  • What does the concept of Fusion mean for IT ?
  • What are the elements of Fusion, and how to apply them ?
3. Models that Work

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.

  • The models of Alignment
  • The models of Fusion
Coffee/Tea and Refreshments
4. People

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.

  • What does the 'people' element in a Fusion process entail ?
  • Which blend of people will we need to attract, hire, train or develop ?
  • How can you do just that ?
  • How can you crack the 'culture' code in an IT transformation ?
5. The new CIO

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.

6. The marketing of IT

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.

  • What is the rationale for communication in IT, and what are the mechanisms for communicating with the business on IT-related matters ?
  • How do we build a communication and marketing strategy for the information technology function ?
  • How can you raise the communication potential and marketing savvyness of your IT staff ?
17h45 - 19h00
7. Intelligent Governance

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.

  • Talk about the danger of using Governance as an excuse to build a self-deluding straight-jacket of control in the IT department.
  • Review the current models of IT Governance that go beyond the 'controlling' elements of Governance.
  • Explain the difference between 'budget' thinking and 'portfolio' thinking.
  • Explore the possibility of 'value-based scenario-planning' in IT.
  • Show how to use the concept of Intelligent Governance as a mechanism for Fusion between business and IT
  • Demonstrate that governance can also be an intelligent mechanism to create more value with IT
8. Architects of Change

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.

  • Explain the evolving role of architecture in IT
  • Explore the notion of Enterprise Architecture, and what it means in a Business / IT Fusion context
  • Develop the link between Architecture and Strategy, and how to turn IT Architecture into a management tool
  • Elaborate on the concept of Scenario Planning as a mechanism to look at the dynamic aspects of Architecture
  • Investigate the role and the profile of the Architect
  • Give examples of how the changing role of Architecture can be applied in an Enterprise context
9. The Fusion Roadmap
  • A roadmap for IT going forward
  • Conducting an assessment of where you are
  • Mapping out the work necessary to reshape the IT department
  • Where will the Fusion of Business and IT lead our industry, and where could it lead you ?
Discussion, summary and conclusions
End of this seminar


Peter Hinssen (Across Technology)
Across Technology

Ir. Peter Hinssen is an entrepreneur, lecturer and writer. Currently, he is chairman of Porthus NV, which he co-founded in 1999. Porthus is one of the leading providers of OnDemand IT solutions. Peter is also co-founder of Across Technology, a consultancy company for IT Strategy, Business/IT Alignment and Change Management.

In 1995, Peter started his Internet ventures by launching e-COM, an Internet Agency that focused on the Intranet/Portal market and was acquired in 1999 by Alcatel, and which was renamed to Alcatel e-COM and later to The e-Corporation. From 2000 he was Entrepreneur in Residence with McKinsey & Company, where he worked for 2 years on entrepreneurship, e-government and business/IT alignment.

Peter worked together with John Henderson ('Strategic alignment between business and IT'), Nicholas Carr ('IT doesn't matter') and Peter Weill ('Enterprise Architecture as Strategy') in strategic alignment projects for e.g. ING, FORTIS, Johnson & Johnson and the Royal Bank of Scotland.

He just finished the book "Business/IT Fusion. How to move beyond Alignment and transform IT in your organization" (published by Mach Media NV, ISBN: 9789081324236, 280 pages, hardcover).

Questions about this ? Interested but you can't attend ? Send us an email !