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Planning Ahead

Deasy began without a clear picture of the road ahead. "There was no charter to do one thing first," he says. "Breen's premise was to go out to the vast array of Tyco businesses to figure out what we can do together."

So on that first lonely day at Tyco's Manhattan headquarters (the company has since relocated to Princeton, N.J.), Deasy took off for a tour of Tyco's five business segments: Tyco Fire & Security (including ADT Security Services, Inc. and other brands); Tyco Electronics (including AMP); Tyco Healthcare (medical devices); Tyco Plastics & Adhesives; and Tyco Engineered Products & Services. (A fiber-optic network unit is up for sale.) "The week I joined was the week Ed Breen started the first-ever strategic planning reviews with our companies," he says. "That night I was on a plane to begin two solid weeks of reviewing all five operating and strategic plans. It gave me a sense of where they were on technology, how they used it, or not."

The trip was important to managers in the field, too. "A lot of people felt wronged by the scandal," says Ronald Vance, CIO of Tyco Electronics. "They were doing their jobs—this was no Enron. New management walked into the middle of it, and credibility had to be earned." Deasy's visit was critical to turning that perception around.

Kozlowski had acquired more than 1,000 companies, many of them market leaders, and they had been integrated willy-nilly into their respective business segments according to each organization's prevailing culture.

One priority for Deasy was people: He had to build a corporate staff, and he needed help in the business segments. There were incumbent CIOs at Healthcare and Electronics, but the other three had never had a CIO. Deasy worked with the segment presidents and the corporate staff to get agreement on the need for segment IT chiefs.

Deasy also worked with consulting firm DiamondCluster International Inc. on a companywide inventory of people and property. An earlier audit of enterprise risk gave him some leads, but much of the world map was still white space. "We didn't know what we spent on IT," he says. "I had no idea of the state of IT at the units—how many IT professionals we had, where they are, what they do."

A critical first step was an inventory of the company's human assets. Deasy prepared a framework, called IT Decision Domain, that describes the world of IT at Tyco, and which is used to set discussions and decisions around where corporate executives should focus their IT efforts across the company. Deasy also learned that Tyco had over 1,600 unique IT vendors, more than 100 for telecom alone. There were 140 separate networks in the company, some 500 payroll and 400 ERP systems. "Everybody had gone out and bought and built a complete IT set of infrastructure and capabilities, and never connected them."

Next, Deasy brainstormed with his corporate staff, business segment leaders and the consultants. That produced a list of more than 200 projects and priorities. "We realized that we needed a fundamental approach," says Deasy. "We asked the businesses what they had underway in terms of new data centers, or redesigning networks, or improving communications to employees, and we said maybe we should look at doing those things once instead of repeating them."

An important question, says Gursahaney, was how much change an organization can digest at one time. "Any corporate-driven initiative is virtually brand-new in our culture," he says. "Two years ago, corporate was here to do deals. Period. We will find ways to make use of the synergies between the segments and meet the needs from the corporate side, too."

This article was originally published on 10-15-2004
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