No more IT projects

No more what? Have I lost my mind? No, just my tolerance for the stigma of slapping an “IT” label on projects that would be far better served by more accurate, less legacy-driven descriptors. Such as? How about “customer project”, “compliance project”, “supply chain project”, or “process improvement project”?

Call it whatever fits best, as long as you avoid that dreaded tech label that continues to wall IT off from the business, making senior executives ask, “Why does this cost so much?” instead of, “What value are we getting here?” We need to be moving briskly toward the day when business people stop viewing IT as a cost centre and a resource albatross and see it for what it truly can be: a creator of value and a driver of change.

Yet bridging the communication gap between business folks and IT people seems to be a never-ending tale of two steps forward and three steps back. The latest alignment lament surfaced in a survey of 200 IT managers by Deloitte Consulting and IDG Research Services Group. It found that a pitiful 10 percent of respondents feel that their companies are “extremely successful” at aligning IT plans with corporate strategies. And 65 percent of respondents voiced complaints about the business folks failing to communicate with them.

Maybe it sounds like a minor move, this title tweak from “IT project” to “business project.” But the battle to align IT and business is being fought one company, one project, one IT success story at a time. Why not get started now?

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