Business/IT Alignment is all about making sure that management decisions related to IT are grounded in solid, identifiable business strategies and priorities. A BITA engagement typically involves working with organizations to assist management with the data, information and assessments required for sound management decisions. The article attached below from Michael McLaughin at RainToday suggests that this is the one, single critical service that EVERY professional services company should offer to their clients.
Sometimes in the quest for solid, long-term project revenue, professional services firms can lose focus on the value of quick, strategic assessments to clients. It is these assessments that help clients identify high priority challenges and provide some shape to move forward. Many client organizations are faced with multiple symptoms of issues that are simply overwhelming to management. Often there are interdependencies that make it difficult to separate one issue from another so that they can be addressed. The uncertainty of what to address can prevent organizations from ever getting to the point of discussing how to successfully do it. The best investment senior management can make before confirming any initiative or project, is to engage a knowledgeable, independent consultant to examine the situation and provide an assessment of what the core issues are, what the implications are (risks/benefits) and recommendations on a strategy to move forward. If this is done before projects are authorized, it will save considerable project planning time and the potential of significant re-work once the project becomes active. It is not lost investment: it is shifting investment to the front end of an engagement before resources are committed at the back end. I would also suggest that if more organizations grasped this one small truth, management decisions generally – whether projects or operations – would have a much higher success probability.