Peer to Peer Magazine

Spring 2017

The quarterly publication of the International Legal Technology Association

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74 PEER TO PEER: THE QUARTERLY MAGAZINE OF ILTA | SPRING 2017 by John Alber Too often, technology operations occupy an island in the enterprise, disconnected from the everyday of the business, isolated from the core entrepreneurship that drives it. But we already know that. Management Speak 101 teaches that a business's core directives must guide all actions inside the enterprise. And, at nearly every conference, webinar or other gathering concerned with IT management, we hear over and over the necessity of aligning with the business. But talk isn't the test of alignment. The bridges you build between tech and the business are. You can aspire to integration all you want, but without carefully constructed connections between IT operations and the underlying business, you'll occupy an island. The Four Bridges There are four main bridges you can build between IT and your firm or company. They connect you to the strategic imperatives, cultural norms, chronological necessities and economic realities of the underlying business. Strategy Alignment. When technology managers talk about aligning IT with the business, oen they mean just this: IT should become aware of and make its capital and resource investment decisions mindful of a firm's or company's strategic imperatives. In other words, read the strategic plan a couple of times and you're golden. Even if your firm or company is fortunate enough to have gone through a rigorous strategic planning cycle, and most haven't, there's still far more to achieving alignment with strategy than reading a plan. Here are three questions you can ask to be sure you are aligning with the plan: ยป What are the three most important components of the plan? Wrien strategic plans are most oen the product of commiees. And, because of how commiees work, the plans they produce most oen have a lile bit from everyone on the commiee. Which is to say they can run as long as a novella. Another way of saying this is: strategic planning commiees don't have to execute. But you do, so distill any wrien strategies into the three most important aspects of the plan and focus your thinking and resources on those. Three is not a magic number. Two might be beer, but 1 The Four Essential Bridges Between Tech and the Business JOHN ALBER John Alber is retired and currently living aboard the 50-foot trawler Barefoot Lady in southern and southeastern U.S. waters. John also serves in a volunteer capacity as a futurist for the International Legal Technology Association. For the 16 years prior, he served as Bryan Cave's strategic innovation partner. The groups under his leadership developed innovative web-based, client-centric applications and client-facing knowledge management, project management, project estimation and business intelligence systems. Contact John at john@johnalber.com. The Four Essential Bridges Between Tech and the Business FROM THE FUTURIST

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