These suggestions are just a start. They are not meant to be a step-by-step “how-to” for over- hauling the IT strategies of large, complex organizations, nor are they meant to provide a new organization blueprint for the IT- savvy company. But they are intended to provoke the kind of thinking that can quickly point out performance gaps and inspire robust initiatives to close those gaps and keep them closed. Clearly, there are myriad pressing issues clamoring for the attention of the top management team. Many of those issues call for sizable resource commitments in terms of funding and dedi- cated staff. But IT savvy in and of itself is not a major resource drain. In our experience, companies with average or low IT savvy can significantly increase their returns and reduce their IT risk without investing another cent in technology. That should be rea- son enough for many business leaders to elevate the issue. More fundamentally, though, the story of IT savvy is a story of untapped potential — of money left on the table, and of com- petitors who can grab a lasting advantage. In a time of unrelent- ing competition from all corners of the globe, managers must understand the consequences of not acting to enrich their organ- izations’ IT savvy. They must find answers to questions about the best utilization of technology in their organizations and give seri- ous consideration to an increasingly important question: Are we IT savvy enough for 2010 and beyond? To gauge your company’s degree of IT savvy, each key manager should begin by asking the following questions: CEO • Who has the responsibility for making our key IT decisions, and how do I hold them accountable for performance? • How is my IT governance linked to the governance of the company’s other key assets, such as our people, our know-how, our physical assets and our financial assets? • What are the three or four key metrics I should oversee to get the most value from IT? • How IT savvy are we? How IT savvy am I? CFO • What are the key IT asset classes within our IT portfolio? • What has been our historical risk and return by IT asset class? • How can I help make better IT investments, particularly when they involve complex jus- tifications (such as, option pricing) as with IT infrastructure? Business Unit Leader • What percentage of my key business processes are optimized and digitized? • How IT savvy are my people? How IT savvy am I? • How effective are our partnerships with the shared IT group? What’s our role in that partnership? • How business savvy are my IT people? • How do we make the key IT decisions in my business unit? HR Director • How IT savvy are our business people? • How business savvy are our IT people?
- Fall '14
- MIT Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sloan Management Review, MIT Sloan Management Review