Recently I've posted on my view of the CIO's agenda. There are a clear reasons why these four key topics are relevant. What drives business?

  1. Earning money, e.g. revenues.
  2. Optimizing costs, e.g. optimizing the gap between income and costs and thus the net income.
  3. Avoiding problems and penalties.
Earning moneys requires that a business is flexible enough to adopt to a changing competitive/market environment and to react fast.

Optimizing costs is about efficient internal structures.

Avoiding problems and penalties is about Corporate Governance and the entire GRC field (Governance, Risk Management, Compliance).

For IT, flexibility requires as well the ability to change and add new internal business processes as to efficiently support M&A as well as disinvestments. That's what I've meant with business support - IT has to ensure the required flexibility.

Cost optimization in the IT context is about independence, accountability, and the business support (being able to flexibly support changes in an optimal manner includes doing it with optimized costs).

And GRC requirements from a business perspective have a clear counterpart with IT Governance and the related GRC topics.

If you look on it the other way round, e.g. what is required by IT to fulfill the three mentioned core business drivers there isn't anything missing in the four core initiatives at the CIO agenda.

Unfortunately, it is much easier to have this high level view than to really implement an IT structure and infrastructure which brings these initiatives to live. But keeping the CIO initiatives as well as the leading business drivers in mind will definitely help to streamline investments as well as the IT organization.