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The CIO Playbook: Strategies and Best Practices for IT Leaders to Deliver Value by Nicholas R. Colisto

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Chapter 1

Step 1: Partner

If we are together nothing is impossible. If we are divided all will fail.

Winston Churchill

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Partner: Establish strong relationships with internal and external stakeholders to create long-term competitive advantage.
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Your success greatly depends on your relationships with others. Whether you are trying to drive results within your team, with stakeholders across your company, or with suppliers, your ability to create positive business outcomes will rest on the strength of your business relationships. Partnerships begin with having a clear understanding of a company's vision, goals, and strategies. This chapter describes the stages of a business partnership and how to build an IT strategic plan, in cooperation with your team and business partners, so that everyone has a clear picture of the value IT will contribute to the company.

Partnership versus Alignment

Year after year, IT survey results inevitably state that one of the top priorities for the coming year will be to align IT with the business. The topic certainly gets a lot of attention and is often the source of many articles, postings, books, and presentations. Out of curiosity, I performed a search on Google, and it returned an astonishing 3.3 million results on the topic.

Why do so many CIOs struggle with alignment? Perhaps the answer is that they focus too much attention on aligning with the business rather than partnering with it. Are these ...

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