Professor Reiter IT Management
Pfizer, the world’s fourth largest company has a multitude of Information Technology needs. Pfizer is different from most other large organizations in that the company does not have a CIO (Chief Information Officer). Instead, Pfizer has an Information Technology Leadership Team (ITLT) that serves as the virtual CIO of the organization (Exhibit 1). This report analyzes the decision to maintain an ITLT in the face of Pfizer’s changing business environment.
II. Critical Issue: The critical issue for Pfizer is to first determine whether a Virtual CIO structure is sustainable and then to determine how to maximize the efficiency and utility of ITLT. Factors that need to be considered are changes in the business climate due to the merger with Pharmacia, effectiveness of the ITLT and extensibility of the ITLT as Pfizer evolves.
III. Analysis: a. Problem of Sustainability Many analysts equate a large company to one that reacts slowly to change and one that generally changes procedures and strategies quite rarely. For the most part, Pfizer does not fit into this stereotype of varying levels of outsourcing within the company and because individual divisions of Pfizer are very, very responsive to change. As such, a major concern for Pfizer is whether or not the structure of a Virtual CIO is sustainable in the changing business environment that Pfizer is a part of. After the merger with another industry giant, Pharmacia, Pfizer’s size grew considerably. In addition to this, IT processes, systems, and applications change immensely. It is difficult to gauge whether such a huge change would render the Virtual CIO template obsolete. With the addition of new departments and new technologies, the current Virtual CIO would be insufficient to handle all company IT needs because there would be a lack of knowledge about the systems of Pharmacia. Additionally, this lack of knowledge would...