Author's Opinion

The views in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of iTWire.

Have your say and comment below.

Thursday, 12 July 2012 08:02

Aligning IT and business - still


Twenty years ago I started a magazine called MIS – Managing Information Systems. Fairfax bought it in 1999 and published until earlier this year.

As its name suggests, the magazine was all about the management aspects of an IT manager’s or CIO’s job. There’s lots of stuff we can read about the technology, but not nearly so much about other aspects of the information professional’s life.

That is still the case today. In this twice weekly column in iTWire I will look at how the evolution in information and communication technology is changing the way we live our business and our personal lives. In the digital age, the distinction between the two is becoming blurred.

Shortly after we started MIS magazine we held a conference for our readers. No vendors or consultants allowed – you had to be a practicing IT management professional to attend. We asked our readers what sort of focus they wanted for the conference.

“Aligning IT and management”, or variants on that theme, most of them said. We ran the conference on that subject, very successfully, and next year we asked them again what the conference should be about. We got the same response - aligning IT and management.

Then ten years ago I was asked to speak at someone else’s IT manager conference. I asked the organisers what the theme was. “Aligning IT and management,” they said.

That is the Holy Grail of IT management. The technology is only a tool to help the organisation do whatever it does, be it making widgets or importing wine or running a penal system. Getting that technology optimised to assist the organisation achieve its goals is what it’s all about.

The job of IT manager is one of the most multidisciplinary in the business world. Successful practitioners must have solid technical skills and experience, and they need to be both literate and numerate, to a high degree, They need good interpersonal and communications capabilities. And be possessed of all the normal people management skills as well.

In the second decade of the digital millennium, technology has caused major social changes. The Internet has evolved into a giant information machine. It is a giant repository of content and of applications.

Ad hoc search is replacing indexing. Video is supplanting text. Data – and information – are becoming increasingly unstructured. The social media revolution is starting to have significant effect on businesses. Data is becoming democratised, and cloud computing means it can be located anywhere.

At the same time, the range of times and places we can access this vast array of information is increasing. Tablet computers and smart phones have changed the definition of just what a computer is – and what a computer network is.

This is greatly affecting our personal lives, and it is overflowing into the business world in a big way. IT departments are having to manage a flood of internet terminals supplied by users – so-called bring-your-own-device computing – in a major reversal of the previous computing paradigm, where technology and ideas started in corporate computing before moving to individuals.

These and other changes are challenging traditional ideas on IT management. But they are not changing its ethos. IT management is still about aligning technology with the needs of the organisation. How to best do that will be the theme of this column.



As part of our Lead Machine Methodology we will help you get more leads, more customers and more business. Let us help you develop your digital marketing campaign

Digital Marketing is ideal in these tough times and it can replace face to face marketing with person to person marketing via the phone conference calls and webinars

Significant opportunity pipelines can be developed and continually topped up with the help of Digital Marketing so that deals can be made and deals can be closed

- Newsletter adverts in dynamic GIF slideshow formats

- News site adverts from small to large sizes also as dynamic GIF slideshow formats

- Guest Editorial - get your message out there and put your CEO in the spotlight

- Promotional News and Content - displayed on the homepage and all pages

- Leverage our proven event promotion methodology - The Lead Machine gets you leads

Contact Andrew our digital campaign designer on 0412 390 000 or via email



Security requirements such as confidentiality, integrity and authentication have become mandatory in most industries.

Data encryption methods previously used only by military and intelligence services have become common practice in all data transfer networks across all platforms, in all industries where information is sensitive and vital (financial and government institutions, critical infrastructure, data centres, and service providers).

Get the full details on Layer-1 encryption solutions straight from PacketLight’s optical networks experts.

This white paper titled, “When 1% of the Light Equals 100% of the Information” is a must read for anyone within the fiber optics, cybersecurity or related industry sectors.

To access click Download here.


Graeme Philipson

Graeme Philipson is senior associate editor at iTWire. He is one of Australia’s longest serving and most experienced IT journalists. He is author of the only definitive history of the Australian IT industry, ‘A Vision Splendid: The History of Australian Computing.’

He has been in the high tech industry for more than 30 years, most of that time as a market researcher, analyst and journalist. He was founding editor of MIS magazine, and is a former editor of Computerworld Australia. He was a research director for Gartner Asia Pacific and research manager for the Yankee Group Australia. He was a long time weekly IT columnist in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, and is a recipient of the Kester Award for lifetime achievement in IT journalism.

More in this category: Why cloud computing is important »



Recent Comments