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IT Leadership Series_ IT Business Alignment How the Times Have Changed

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♪♪ Piano Type Music Playing ♪♪ The challenge of aligning IT with the business I think it's actually changed over that period of five to 10 years. Ten years ago the issue was really getting our business folks to understand something as basic as the difference between an application system, with specific business functionality, and infrastructure. The computer, a piece of network hardware, or system software like an operating system they didn't know the difference, they didn't know what they were investing in. So we had to do a lot of basic education of them on terminology so we could meet them where they are. They had to commit to learn enough so we could have a conversation. We were able to do that, in fact, I have still on my wall from Computerworld an article that you folks wrote that I was featured in five years ago, oh no it's seven years ago now and it was called 'Aligning Marriott' that was the headline. And we felt we had done a very good job of aligning, and we had done that but it was a basic job of what I would call basic blocking and tackling; terminology, understanding what that is, you can have a conversation and us - making sure that we understood the business terminology well enough to have a merger between those two and a good dialogue with key business partners. In today's world I think it's much more of a convergence than it is an alignment. You cannot separate the technology from the business process today, at least you can't in our business. If you tried to do a business re-engineering project where you say 'I'm going to design a process now' and then I'm going to go and decide how I apply technology to that process you would, you would be making a huge mistake. We have to have dialogue with our business people, have a strategic business discussion first. We have to be there, we have to be almost converged with them. And our goal is, if an external observer was sitting in a meeting, of IT people in the business meeting and business people at Marriott, they would not be able to tell the difference between a business person and an IT person; it would just be a dialogue about here's what we do with technology. [The] company I work for is Verizon Communications as a whole, and I work for the Business Group called Verizon Business. What's been interesting to watch is that as the technology and telecommunications industry has changed, I think that Verizon has been very much on the forefront of transforming its view of IT along the way. So, I can remember back, um, ten or fifteen years ago when those of us in IT were, in some cases, part of what we called 'science and technology organization', had to fight our way, if you will, into the executive meetings and assert that we knew as much about the technologies that was changing the industry, as the folks in the core part of the business. And that, that argument has really fallen away, and now IT is very much in the center of product development and product strategy in a company like Verizon. So, you know in my twenty-year career I think from an IT perspective, and almost everything has changed. In the last six or eight months I've been quoting to people on this point. One is Ray Kurzweil, who came to Verizon and gave a talk entitled 'In the 21st century everything of value will be based in intelligent information technology' and the second is a white paper by the CEO of Forrester Research suggesting that we change the name of our organizations from information technology to business technology. And the point of both of those quotes is that it's very difficult to make a distinction between information technology and the core processes that run the business. I know that's true for Verizon, and I suspect it's true in a lot of industries. And so the whole conversation around aligning IT with business is, is in some sense, I think false conversation now. It wasn't 20 years ago where there was more of hard line between what you called IT and what you called the business. But I think today, it's very difficult to distinguish them so it's not a question anymore of aligning IT with the business I think it's a question of making sure that each understands the other's domain well enough, in order that the two together create innovation in a way that they couldn't separately.

Video Details

Duration: 5 minutes and 9 seconds
Year: 2010
Country: United States
Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
Genre: None
Producer: ComputerworldPH
Views: 47
Posted by: christineward on Nov 1, 2015

IT Leadership Series_ IT Business Alignment How the Times Have Changed. January 8, 2010. Retreived from: https://youtu.be/cilI6xKN_9o. ----- No changes have been made to the video except the addition of accurate close captioning. ----- VIDEO: IT Business Alignment How the Times Have Changed

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