Executive Alignment Assessment: Is the leadership on the same page about IT?

What is IT Executive Alignment?

As leader of an IT department, you recognize that your ideas, priorities, and perspectives differ from those of business leaders. According to Infotech Research Group, 67% of CIO’s and CEOs do not align on their understanding on the target role for IT. IT executive alignment is the degree to which your association’s CEO and head of IT are on the same page on the vision for IT.

What is the Purpose of an Executive Alignment Assessment?

For decades, IT- business alignment has been touted as the next dimension of effective IT, yet many leaders are still without the tools they need to understand and support business priorities. This program eliminates the guesswork and starts closing the gaps between IT and the business perspectives. It will help your IT division:

  • Align IT with Business Priorities
    • Compare your evaluation of IT performance and objectives against your boss’s.
    • Sit down with your boss to highlight areas of disagreement and to get on the same page.
    • Agree on a move-forward plan for how IT can uphold its mandate and meet its objectives.
  • Establish IT Performance Indicators
    • Involve your boss at the right frequency and for the right activities.
    • Measure & report on the IT performance measures that your boss cares about.
    • Create systems for measuring performance including stakeholder satisfaction, business benefits as well as cost.
  • Invest in New Technology & Innovation
    • Determine which new technologies the business is most interested in investing in.
    • Innovate intelligently – clarify IT’s mandate and how you can best innovate to support the business.
    • Build new technology & innovation initiatives into your IT strategy.
  • Build Alignment with Strategy, Portfolio, and Budget
    • Map business goals to IT priorities in order to build an IT strategy. Organize and evaluate your IT portfolio based on business value created.
    • Categorize and allocate IT spending in order to enable business goals.

67% of CIOs and CEOs do not align on their understanding on the target role for IT.

 - InfoTech Research Group

What are the benefits?

Instead of producing an endless list to add to your backlog, the program brings clarity to what IT priorities need to be, how they are defined, and how their success is measured. It creates a tangible path to alignment and all of its associated benefits. Research reveals that companies with robust IT departments effectively aligned to business goals achieve higher growth compared to IT departments lacking alignment. For CIOs, effective alignment can be the tipping point in moving IT  from supporting the business to enabling and transforming it.

Misalignment is easier to spot than alignment. It is most obvious when core activities –strategic planning, budget & staffing, and project  management –are out of sync with business goals. Understand expectations around these core activities so you can determine where to focus  IT business alignment efforts.

For IT to serve as a valuable business partner, IT leaders must direct resources toward supporting and achieving business goals. A CEO  functions as the primary business stakeholder. Not only does the CEO need to be consulted on these big ticket items, but more importantly he  or she must be understood. IT leaders ignore this reality at their own peril.

With effective processes in place, innovation offers the potential for IT to deliver transformative value to the business and create a source of sustained competitive advantage. It is critical to ensure that IT-enabled innovation supports business goals. Ensure innovation alignment  continues down the correct path.

You will discover areas where IT enabled innovation is most likely to make a contribution to the organization's overall success.  You’ll also review your barriers to innovation in the IT department and from other areas of the business. Finally, you’ll learn the appetite for innovation and when each party perceived a need for adoption of disruptive technologies.

Learn the performance indicators the CEO values to make sure you have program in place to report on them.

Lastly learn when the CEO wants to be involved in key decisions so you can establish regular communication cadence on those activities.

How does it work?

The assessment questionnaire is for the CIO (or head of IT) and the CEO.  In organizations where the head of IT does not report to the CEO, the key contact who supervises IT should also participate.  It takes about 15 minutes for each user to complete the tool.  The results are not anonymous.  The responses are shared in a transparent manner to identify the areas where everyone is in alignment and when they are not.

Getting Started

Take the first step to establishing alignment between your IT department and the executive office. Learn more about our Executive Alignment Assessment for Associations.

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