Doubts Raised Over IT's Strategic Potential

By Dennis McCafferty  |  Posted 03-02-2015 Email

While the majority of executives–both IT and non-IT–agree that the tech department must play a lead role in the improvement of business effectiveness, they're expressing considerable doubts about the department's ability to do so, according to a recent survey from McKinsey. And many of the doubts are being raised by tech-side leaders, findings revealed. A clear minority of IT execs, for example, said their department is highly effective at driving tech innovation in business processes and operations. An even smaller percentage feels that the tech department is effective at targeting places in which IT can add the most organizational value. "Companies would do well to empower and require their CIOs and other technology leaders to play a more meaningful role in shaping business strategy," according to an accompanying article to the survey, titled "Why CIOs Should be Business-Strategy Partners." This means shifting away from a CIO with a supplier mind-set who provides a cost-effective utility and toward IT leadership that is integrated into discussions of overall business strategy and contributes positively to innovating and building the business. As for how to do this? McKinsey recommends modifying reporting lines so the CIO reports, for example, to the CEO; establishing clear partnerships between the IT and corporate-strategy functions; and holding both business and IT leaders accountable for big business bets. More than 670 IT and non-IT executives took part in the research.

Dennis McCafferty is a freelance writer for Baseline Magazine.


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