Barnaby would like to thank Robert S. Gold of Palladium Group for his thought leadership, which forms the basis for the ideas expressed in this column.

For most companies today, IT has become so embedded in the external value proposition that it is nearly impossible to execute strategy without it. Yet, if you ask business managers to talk about the relationship with their IT organization (and vice versa), you will often discover that there are significant levels of anxiety and dissatisfaction on both sides. Business managers will often say that IT is "weak," "struggling to simply keep systems up and running," and "not adding enough business value." Meanwhile, most of the IT managers assert that they are delivering high-quality, reliable systems at a competitive cost but are unable to do strategic things (such as analytics to support customer interactions or launch new, revenue-generating products and services) because they are constrained by scarce resources, often allocated in an environment of political trade-offs as business units compete for IT spend.

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