Chapter 02 - Competing with Information Technology
ANSWERS TO REAL WORLD CASES
RWC 1: How to Win Friends and Influence Business People
Case Study Questions
1. By changing the way his group talks about IT investments, CIO Tim Schaefer is trying to change the way the rest of the company sees IT. Why do you think this is necessary? What would be the prevailing mindset about IT in his company, such that he needs to do something about it? Provide some examples of how IT may be regarded in this organization.
It's important for IT to speak and understand the language or languages of the businesses they support. In Northwestern Mutual Life's case, the business speaks in the language of investments, returns, and risk. Using a common language helps reduce barriers to communication between IT and the business unit.
The prevailing attitude had been that IT operated in its own, separate, alternative reality. IT had its own language and "special knowledge".
Schaefer used words such as "separate", "different", "black box", and "special knowledge" to describe how Northwestern Mutual Life perceived his organization. Schaefer wanted the business to perceive his organization in terms of assets with values, returns, and risks – terms with which the business managers were familiar
It is necessary in the sense that in an organization or company every department has to talk the same languages of their business unit in order to communicate and understand each other. The prevailing approach had been that IT operated in its own. I think IT may be regarded as assets with values, return, and risk.
Chip Gliedman of Forrester Research breaks down IT risks into implementation and impact considerations. Why do you think these are so difficult to manage? What makes IT investments different from investments in other areas of a company?
I would say Implementation and impact are so difficult to manage in the sense that...