Avoiding the Alignment Trap in Intormation Technology

1720 words 7 pages

Executive Summary

An alarming pattern has surfaced in that many companies are concentrating on alignment and are finding that their performance is either declining or moving sideways. Companies are focusing on the wrong solutions with respect to their Information Technology problems, resulting in severe bottlenecks to growth. Companies need to learn how to break out of the trap and build IT organizations that allow for growth rather than obstruct it. Companies will need to be committed as doing so will require a continuous effort.

The essential goal for these companies in order to succeed is to move IT into the upper-right quadrant, where they will be highly
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accountability – executives should get the information they need to measure the progress of IT and IT people should be held accountable for outcomes.
- IT needs to be reliable, without excess complexity, and needs to deliver projects consistently with desired functionality, timing and cost.
- IT systems need to run smoothly and reliably.
- IT functions such as architecture and infrastructure need to be balanced with respect to the needs of the entire organization and those of individual businesses.
- Need a good governance structure so as to set parameters to keep an organization on track (i.e. no more than four new technology releases per year).


1. Companies can choose to maintain the status quo by not changing the systems.
i.e. companies that fall under alignment trap and maintenance zone quadrants
* Minimal changes in organization * Minimal resistance to change from staff
* Does not meet the criteria (or most company’s needs) * Costly because will continue to spend on maintenance, patches and upgrades * Lack of operational efficiency and opportunities to improve efficiencies * Does not support future growth

2. Companies can choose to install a LAN at local offices and connect to head office with a central database stored on a server.
i.e. companies that fall under the well-oiled IT quadrant