Today’s businesses must constantly adapt to cyclical post-pandemic macroeconomic conditions, emerging technologies like generative AI, and new consumer trends like social commerce. For leaders to deliver the next wave of business growth, they will need superior and relentless alignment to achieve high-performance IT — the pursuit of continuously improving business results through technology. However, according to our data, only 29% of business and technology decision-makers believe their digital business initiatives align highly with other internal functions.

Alignment for high-performance IT differs in two fundamental ways. First, it is comprehensive and aligns across three business dimensions — strategy, operations, and leadership. And second, high-performance IT leaders work with stakeholders across organizational levels to select and activate the dominant IT style required to deliver the key business outcomes. As an example, an oil and gas company has a strategic objective to become a market leader in sustainable energy solutions while maintaining profitability in traditional oil and gas operations. Its high-performance IT alignment results in a focus on the dominant style of cocreation — pursuing new, sustainable energy sources — while continuing to rationalize a recent merger and to optimize existing operations performance.

 High-performance IT relentlessly aligns by changing IT styles to business strategies. This graphic shows the transition between current and future IT styles to better align to business strategies.

Until now, leaders relied on best estimates and experience to determine the impact of revised business strategies, their predominant areas of focus, and associated investments — yielding estimations that did not synchronize IT investments correctly to drive business outcomes. Now, with the high-performance IT alignment model, coherent groupings of technology investments can be expressed in styles, with a focus on the dominant style. Business and IT align and regularly calibrate at a deeper level through a five-step process. These steps account for changes associated with each IT style and associated business strategies — across the IT operating model’s six layers: customers, value, capabilities, structure, governance, and leadership.

High-performance IT’s alignment framework goes beyond traditional alignment because it reaches across the overall organization with the business strategy in its crosshairs, and deep within IT, across all aspects of the IT operating model.

If you’re a Forrester client, you can watch this webinar to learn more and schedule an inquiry with us to understand how you can achieve superior and relentless alignment.