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Top 4 Reasons Why IT is Not A Strategic Enabler

1) Lack of Business Knowledge - If the IT group does not know and cannot concisely articulate a) the business goals and objectives and b) the business processes including pain points, IT will not be able to play a strategic role. It is not possible for IT to create a strategic plan which is aligned to the business without understanding where the business wants to go. Being able to proactively provide options and create solutions requires IT to internalize the business objectives and truly understand where the business is going.

2) Inability to Speak in Business Terms - IT must be able to explain current projects and activities as well as future opportunities in business terms. It is not enough to describe changes to systems, applications, databases, etc - IT must articulate the business value and the business capabilities such as enabling growth opportunities, new business models, improvements to customer and partner experience and cost avoidance or reductions.

3) Lack of Agility - IT has to be pragmatic and agile. If IT gets lost in multi-year projects that do not provide tangible business value, IT will not earn the credibility that it needs to succeed. IT can be agile through an agile development model or an enterprise architecture strategy but more importantly agility is a mind-set for IT. IT needs to realize that the faster the time to business capability or time to value, the more opportunity the business has to get ahead of the competition.

4) Lack of Technical Strategy - IT needs a technical strategy that results in flexibility and faster capabilities for the business. The technical strategy or Enterprise Architecture should not be a purist technology-only based approach but needs to be aligned to meet core business objectives, often refered to as a Business Architecture. The ability to apply technical judgment to specific business needs while focusing on the longer-term technical strategy is critical. Incrementally delivering business value while moving towards a simplified, agile architecture allows IT to become a true strategic enabler.

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