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Harvard Business Review on Aligning Technology with Strategy by Harvard Business Review

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Getting IT Right

by Charlie S. Feld and Donna B. Stoddard

OF ALL THE MEMBERS OF the executive committee, the CIO is the least understood—mostly because his profession is still so young. Over the centuries, the fields of manufacturing, finance, sales, marketing, and engineering have evolved into a set of commonly understood practices, with established vocabularies and operating principles comprehended by every member of the senior team. By contrast, the field of information technology—born only 40 years ago with the advent of the IBM 360 in 1964—is prepubescent.

This generation gap means that, in most organizations, the corporate parent—caught in the linguistic chasm between tech-speak and business-speak—has no idea what its youngest child is ...

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