Business Relationship Management for the Digital Enterprise


chapter 2. why business-it maturity is so important


The Business-IT Maturity Model separates business demand (the appetite of business for IT and their ability to harness potential business value) and IT supply (the ability of the enterprise to satisfy that demand) and explores how these mature over time and how they are mutually dependent. It is important to note that these do not typically move in lockstep. Sometimes demand is more mature. Other times IT supply leads in maturity.

Business demand at any point in time is a complex function of industry characteristics, market forces, business vision and leadership and many other variables. Business demand is also a function of IT supply. Low supply maturity will constrain business demand or lead to ways to work around the IT organization, such as setting up shadow IT groups and/or cloud computing.

The chapter reviews the underlying theory of the maturity model and examines the important differences in moving from Level 1 to Level 2 and then from Level 2 to Level 3. It describes common 'sticking points' in driving maturity improvements, ways to break through these barriers and articulates principles for increasing Business-IT maturity.

Business-IT Convergence

This is best understood in the context of maturity. At low business-IT maturity, there is a virtual (and sometimes real) wall between the IT organization and the business it serves. As maturity increases, the wall becomes more porous. Roles become quite blended (e.g., business relationship managers and enterprise architects) as IT knowledge is increasingly found in the business, and business knowledge is increasing found among IT professionals.