In order to understand the flow of information, CIOs need to be intimately familiar with the direction of the business. This way, they can automate pieces of that business where it will do the most good. That can’t be done without a good understanding of how information moves through an organization, and the movement of information can’t be fully understood without understanding the business units.
It will come as no surprise to anyone who has read my earlier article about spurious distinctions between business and IT (Business is from Mars and IT is from Venus) that I strongly endorse this sentiment. Maybe the fact that mainstream commentators are talking about IT in business terms is indicative of IT beginning to come of age.
Ed Sperling is editor in chief of System-Level Design; and a contributing writer at Forbes.com.