The essential concept of the alignment trap is that a poorly performing or excessively complex IT organization won't accomplish the desired business outcomes regardless of how well aligned IT is to those outcomes.

I would also argue that the concept of BPI is to consolidate and simplify discrete productivity applications into a combined entity such that it can be more simply managed and easier to align to business goals.

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Optimizing infrastructure improves it's performance and should move the IT org into the "Well-oiled" quadrant. This is both sound portfolio management and a significant step forward in delivering IT effectiveness. Once you have "optimized", alignment to business goals is both simpler and, according to the quadrant above, should move you towards "IT-enabled growth".

Realizing a tangible ROI from IT investments is by no means simple and certainly not generic. The organizations that achieve the best returns are those with the closest alignment between their IT portfolio and their business goals.

The alignment trap is an insightful piece of work that identifies the organizations that get the alignment right, but don't make the right investments in their IT fundamentals.

Microsoft Infrastructure Optimization is designed to get those fundamentals right.

The current economic climate drives a lot of organizations towards cost reduction. IT is well accustomed to finding its budget on the chopping board. Demonstrating that the money being spent on IT can not only reduce operational costs moving forwards but also deliver long-term business benefit should be an essential part of the dialog between IT and "the business".

"With IT both effective and aligned, these companies have put IT where it belongs in the 21st Century: at the heart of the business processes that define a company's position in the marketplace."

Therein lies the purpose of Business Productivity Infrastructure Optimization.

http://sloanreview.mit.edu/smr/issue/2007/fall/02/