Well yes, but only in and on their terms. 

What CEOs all care about is maximising returns on their IT investments, or in some cases minimising their spend on IT (this latter might be short sighted but I’ll return to that in a minute). To do so requires prioritisation of IT spend.

In my experience, no one has ever come up with a silver bullet for this prioritisation. I’d suggest there isn’t a specific one that suits all, because your IT priorities have to be tied to your organisation’s priorities. (I’ll post on a few frameworks for structuring priorities here soon). Indeed why should IT spend be any different to other business functions in this respect? Sales priorities directly align with your agreed business priorities, as does your spend on marketing.

Where IT differs is that whilst many organisations work hard on their business strategy in relation to sales and marketing, aligning IT strategy to business strategy tends to rely on the quality and resolve of your IT team!

A good IT team can use the concepts of Enterprise Architecture in a way that suits their organisation and budget (more on this in future posts), but all the time with a focus on prioritising and delivering the right IT, aligned with, supporting and even enabling organisational strategy.

And if the CEO believes they should be minimising spend on IT? Absolutely, this is a valid IT strategy that suits some organisations at some points in time. But it should be made as a result of alignment, knowingly. Ideally as part of setting out an IT roadmap, (including IT Security choices) using just enough Enterprise Architecture to explore the best alignment. I’d suggest that in most cases, that alignment will see appropriate, prioritised IT spend managing risk, delivering bottom line benefit and offering significant ROI.

 

So, a CEO should care about Enterprise Architecture on their terms – as alignment with their strategy – and in their terms – as a mechanism for this alignment, used by their IT team, and available as a one pager for them to dip into as and when they want. 

 

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