39 appendix case studies processes including the

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39 Appendix: Case Studies processes, including the closing of real estate transactions, which consumers often find complicated and confusing. “People don’t like to sit there and sign 300 documents,” Godec says. “And millennials are likely to say, ‘I want to close on my iPhone, my iPad.’ This will help with that experience.” Accordingly, the First American Secure portal is designed to: Improve the customer experience by digitizing the buyer’s opening package. Leverage modern security capabilities, including multifactor authentication in order to make it more difficult for fraud to occur. Improve efficiency by enabling First American employees to interact with the buyer, seller, realtor and lender via the portal. The portal’s strategy steers the process away from email, which can be vulnerable to wire instruction fraud. The portal’s high-touch approach enables consumers to handle the transaction through a secure technology identity. Collaborating With the Business First American’s IT budget is designed around the “run-grow-transform” model, with 40% earmarked for run, 25% for grow and 35% for transform. Business leaders are accountable for the “R” component of ROI. IT is accountable for the “I” component to build the platform. IT service requests are bucketed around run, grow and transform. “We monitor that bucket very closely,” Godec says. “If need be, we shrink that bucket to reallocate resources to a growth or transformational initiative, because that’s where we really want to be investing more. Our thinking is, ‘Let’s prioritize initiatives, like the customer portal, that can transform the business and really deliver growth.’” The IT team at First American works closely with the business to stay engaged and productive. Business engagement directors, once part of IT, now report into the business, ensuring the right governance and sponsorship at the business level. “As CIO, it’s my job to be more strategic and business oriented, rather than focused on technology and the running of operations,” Godec says. “I’ve got great people who do that. They free up my time to have more conversations with business leaders, to meet on a regular basis with our CEO to talk about new initiatives and trends in the industry, and to identify potential disruptive technologies.” First American’s IT group leverages the Technology Business Management (TBM) Council’s model and tool, which stress financial transparency. Godec, who sits on the board of the TBM Council, a nonprofit composed of 4,500 companies, tells other CIOs: “If you’re not employing TBM, I assure you that your successor will, because if you don’t have that transparency and that strategic focus, you’re not going to last.” Based on interviews with, and materials from, Dennis J. Gilmore, CEO, and Larry Godec, CIO, First American Financial, October 2017.
40 Strategic Engagement Closes the IT and Business Divide to Deliver Business Outcomes ScottsMiracle-Gro CIO Nurtures Strategic Alliances to Help Grow the Business ScottsMiracle-Gro, the leading marketer and manufacturer of lawn and garden care products, is improving strategic engagement between IT and business through strategic alliances. CIO and Vice President Mark J. Sims has worked at

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