Unisys Initiative Aligns IT, Business Needs

Its Business Blueprinting initiative aligns what technology can provide with what business needs.

NEW YORK—To Lawrence Weinbach, building an agile IT infrastructure is not unlike building a house: Without a well-modeled game plan, things can quickly go awry.

That is the thinking behind Unisys Corp.s new Business Blueprinting initiative, a services and software strategy that the company rolled out during an event here Tuesday.

At the core of the initiative is aligning what technology can provide with what business needs, said Weinbach, chairman, president and CEO of the Blue Bell, Pa., company.

"What were really talking about here is, how do we get IT to support business strategy [and] business vision?" Weinbach asked more than 300 people. "How do we develop something and see how it … all fits together?"

Businesses have been hobbled by a number of things over the past few years, he said, including the massive technology purchases fueled by Y2K, the rise of the Internet and the bursting of the dot-com bubble, and expensive implementations of enterprise resource management software. George Colony, chairman and CEO of research firm Forrester Inc., estimated that businesses overpaid by $60 billion on technology during that time.

The result is IT infrastructures that arent working as they should or have very little relation to the business goals of a company. The over-arching goal of the Business Blueprinting idea is to enable companies to create environments where their IT infrastructure can adapt quickly to business needs and market shifts and where new technology can be brought in while still protecting legacy investments.

The idea of more tightly tying business process and IT is one that is gaining momentum in the industry. It was a message that Hewlett-Packard Co., of Palo Alto, Calif., officials drove home last month during their launch of their Adaptive Enterprise initiative, where they spoke of making the IT infrastructure more flexible to meet the changing demands of business.

It also is why officials from Microsoft Corp. and IBM took the stage with Unisys to support the companys Business Blueprinting initiative.