How ALM Drives Business/IT Alignment, Competitive Advantage
The ability to support new business strategies is at the heart of business/IT alignment. IT decision makers commonly worry about operational risks such as “What if my data center goes down?” Many of them worry less about strategic risks like “What if we can’t support the next new business strategy?” Yet not being able to support a business strategy can have a much bigger long-term impact than a one-time systems failure. And missing a chance to differentiate the business because an IT organization can’t quickly support the CEO’s big new idea won’t help any IT leader’s career. Similarly, when a competitor rolls out a new strategy that lets it be first to exploit a window of differentiation, it’s important to follow suit as fast as possible. All of these things commonly require creating new applications, which depends on effective ALM.
Viewing ALM as a foundation for business strategy isn’t a stretch; it’s just a statement of fact. Because of this, getting good at ALM is an essential part of creating competitive advantage. In any organization where custom software matters—that is, in pretty much every organization today—mastering ALM should be a fundamental goal.