“Alignment or Integration” & “Compliant or Compatible” - These Are NOT Just Semantic Arguments!

This morning on the TwitterBlogosphere (sorry - I agree we need a shorter, sweeter word here. It will come, I'm sure, but for now I'm stuck with TwitterBlogosphere!) there were a number of discussions which really caught my attention. They highlighted for me how a particular choice of words can indicate a poor understanding of the context - ITIL/ITSM, or even just an immature thinking process. I offer (for your delight!) some optimum terminology that I would respectfully suggest we all get into the habit of using in ITSM. First - "Business/IT Alignment". That's not what it's about. It's "Business/IT Integration"! If IT is "aligned" with the business that means it's separate and is trying to line up. IT is not a separate entity from the business, it's PART of the business. So IT better get itself properly integrated into the business, not aligned. IT needs to be aware of business objectives and then make sure that IT services enable and support those business objectives. Stop saying "Business/IT alignment"! Secondly - Such-and-such is "compliant" to ITIL. No it can't be! I don't care what it is (usually we talk about tools in this context) but you cannot be compliant to some good ideas and recommendations - which is all ITIL is really. But you can be "compatible" to ITIL. (For a more complete explanation of "compliance" vs. "compatible" see the PinkVERIFY page at our main website.) And for those of you like to churn out the "oh, it's just semantics!" argument and simply refuse to believe that these two words are not synonyms of each other, I'll give you my favourite analogy. When you're looking for a life partner are you looking for someone who'll be compliant, or someone compatible? See - there's a BIG difference!

Like this article? Like

View Comments (18)


Dear David:

What I have found in literature about definitions on alignment and integration in the context of the business are highly ambiguous, so it´s hard to define precisely if you have to align first to get integration (in fact several IT shops acts like a separate entity despite they are part of the organization) or if the alignment has nothing to do with the integration. The conclusion that I have arrived is that Alignment is very similar to integration, fusion, linked, harmonized…. What do you think about this???

Mauricio Corona | August 28, 2009 at 11:49am

As I wrote in our Executive Advisory blog synchronization is not alignment.(http://eapblog.burtongroup.com/executive_advisory_progra/2009/03/transformation-businessit-alignment-is-not-synchronization-.html

The need for alignment flows from the idea that you have two diverging paths that need to be converged. Synchronization is the creation of a common path.

Synchronization means an end to the business and IT divide by working together and looking for integrated movement and forward momentum. When synchronization exists, there is a clear connection between business outcomes, architecture, projects, infrastructure and the services IT provides. The language used by the business is the language of IT. Technology is not the center of our universe. Instead, our focus is on driving business value.

Mike Rollings
Research Director, Enterprise Architecture
Burton Group

Mike Rollings | August 28, 2009 at 4:57pm

Integration or Synchronization

The key point that Mike makes is the fallacy in believing that internal IT is somehow separate and distinct from the business is supplies services to.

The facilities group, HR and and physical plant also provide services but it would not occur to them to consider themselves as anything else but a partner in the business context.

As with anything it comes down to your point of view based on the context from which you view the subject.

This is the basis of the recent blog post I wrote called “A Cultural Roadmap for ITSM”



Troy DuMoulin | August 31, 2009 at 9:47am

Thanks for the link to the article comparing compliance and compatible. It did help my understanding a bit more.

Phillip | January 24, 2011 at 2:17pm

Woah! I’m really digging the template/theme of this website.
It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s very hard
to get that “perfect balance” between superb usability and visual appeal.

I must say you’ve done a superb job with this.
Additionally, the blog loads super fast for me on Firefox.
Superb Blog!

Jacelyn | March 15, 2014 at 9:08am

Finasteride on the other hand has been approved by Food and Drug Administration to treat enlargement of prostate.

While some causes of hair loss might be associated with how you
eat and what your physical health is, not
all of them involve good diet and healthy habits.
These products work the best in younger men who have only begun to lose their hair, and in those whose androgenetic alopecia is still in the
early stages where hair is thinning but continuing
to grow.

capillus272 blair clothes for women | May 24, 2014 at 1:11pm

When using this product regularly, most users also notice new growth in areas that were previously thinning.
It is possible that combining the two hair loss products in a regimen can address the hair loss problem from
two fronts. These products work the best in younger men who have only begun to lose their hair, and
in those whose androgenetic alopecia is still in the early stages where
hair is thinning but continuing to grow.

hair growth for women over 50 | May 25, 2014 at 7:15am

Bon je n’ai pas eu le temps de terminer de lire cependant je reviendrai dans la journée

Ruralfascism2320.soup.io | May 28, 2014 at 8:32pm

If you are considering getting into the trucking business,
you may be thinking about getting your CDL and starting a career driving a
semi-tractor hauling trailers. That is reason for hiring moving companies that are
able to help you transfer easier during this time. A period represents
the length of time a business operates and is being used to calculate a sales forecast.

storage Units In grand rapids mi | June 10, 2014 at 6:46pm

But keep in mind the key to lose weight through walking is walking in slow manner and in a rhythm.
It is also known as human chorionic gonadotropin which is for regulating the development
of the embryo. We know that today’s diet, lifestyle, and environmental
factors are considered to be the most important underlying causes of the chronic disease epidemic,
which accounts for roughly 75 percent of our rising $2.

weight loss pills | June 12, 2014 at 8:29am

Su?et su?per plaisant !!

http://www.tubexamateur.com/ | September 9, 2014 at 3:21pm

P?is-je prendre quelques phrases p?ur mon sit? personnel ?

http://www.france-broadcast.fr/ | October 2, 2014 at 9:40pm

Je ?uis arrivé sur cee site internet par chance et je ne le regrrtte pas !!!

sexe français | October 19, 2014 at 6:35am

C’est un vérit?ble bonheur de lire ce site web

film porno entier | October 19, 2014 at 8:38am

Je pu?lki? cee petit com afin de complimenter l’a?min

sexe hard gratuit | December 5, 2014 at 3:57am

Encore ?n très bon article : ?‘espère een ?arler dans la
journée ?vec certains dee mes potes

film de sexe hardcore | February 4, 2015 at 3:51pm

Nice article and thanks for the information and would love to visit your website for more updates

donaldd | October 2, 2015 at 11:37am

?????????? ?? ???? iphone4. ? ??????? ????? ????
?????? ??? ??????, ??????? ??? ?? ????????? ????????? ??? ????????.
???? ? ??? ???? ???????????

???? ????????? ?????????? | November 5, 2015 at 4:33pm

Post a comment