IT still conjuring up a certain je ne sais quoi

IT has lost its mystique. Once a black art, the pervasive nature of technology today has lifted the cloak of divinity that set the humble IT manager apart from the rest of the organization. But not any more. You are part of the business - with the same metrics, PKIs and benchmarks enjoyed by everyone else in the organization.

Sure, you still get to conjure up plenty of tricks, demonstrating value and showcasing innovation, but you are no longer an enigma. Today's IT-literate business executives are not "dazzled by science" or bewildered by acronyms.

Like you, they love what technology can do and its potential to transform an organization. More than ever, business and IT are working together. As a result IT's influence has never been greater. This is demonstrated in our front page story which details findings from the 2005 State of the CIO survey undertaken by our sister publication CIO Magazine.

In fact, more than 80 percent of large organizations have cross-functional IT steering committees in place to ensure IT architecture and standards guide the decision making process.

The days of silo projects are long gone; IT and business alignment is here to stay. There is nothing ad hoc or mysterious about IT's prominence in the corporate landscape. About 70 percent of those surveyed were part of the organization's executive team meaning they had a say at the top table and were actively steering the ship. In fact, more than half reported directly to the CEO. Technical expertise and advice has never been more sought after. This is particularly true when it comes to buying decisions. Only 25 percent of those surveyed had budgets under $5 million, the rest were juggling expenditure in the $20 to $40 million range or higher. Moreover, 40 percent of respondents were managing between 1000 and 5000 users. This kind of research proves IT's power is growing, not shrinking.

There isn't a horde of suits out there taking the reins of IT in the push toward better business alignment. The two are simply working together. The truth is that more participation by line-of-business executives in IT is actually enhancing your profile.

IT may have lost its mystique but it hasn't lost that certain je ne sais quoi that sets it apart from the rest. Send e-mails to sandra_rossi@idg.com.au

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