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Managing IT as an Investment: Partnering for Success

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Managing IT as an Investment: Partnering for Success


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  • Copyright 2003
  • Dimensions: K
  • Pages: 192
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-009627-X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-009627-2

The ideal IT environment exceeds the enterprise's strategic goals while nurturing the individual to achieve exceptional productivity and job satisfaction. The ideal IT environment is rare, but it does exist -- at Standard & Poor's. In this book, the CIO of S&P's Credit Market Services IT organization and one of Sun's leading consultants show you exactly how to achieve the same extraordinary results within your IT organization. Through actual examples from Standard & Poor's, the authors provide both intuitive "rules of thumb" and an intellectual framework for building and running an outstanding IT organization. This book goes beyond talk, showing exactly how to build IT organizations that manage technology as a strategic asset, partner with the business, build a culture based on shared values, create exceptional value -- and are recognized for it throughout the organization. Ken Moskowitz and Harris Kern show how to manage both risks and expectations; how to establish and deepen partnerships throughout the enterprise; how to build a track record of success; and how to create an IT organization full of people who actually look forward to Monday morning. For all IT executives, IT line managers, and line-of-business managers seeking to maximize the value IT adds to the enterprise.

Sample Content

Table of Contents





1. The Maturing of IT as a Business Discipline.

The Value Chain and the Evolution ofInformation Technology. The Message: Manage IT as a Strategic Asset. Investing in Values.

2. Consequence-Based Thinking.

Big-Picture Thinking. Tapping In. Common Language.

3. Partnering.

The Global Matrix-ed Organization. Business Cases. Business Teams. Operating Principles. Partnering within IT.

4. Value Management.

Other Examples of Communication Value.

5. Strategy.

Business Strategy Formation Process. Enterprise Vision. Technology Vision. Strategy. Making Strategy Operational. The Importance of the PerformanceManagement Process. How to Measure Progress(Part of Marketing IT).

6. The Small Picture.

Communicating the Small Picture. How to Translate “Geek Speak”. Meeting Management.

7. Organization.

Alignment with the Business. Technology Alignment. The Evolution of Alignment. Personal Productivity Services Group. Desktop Development Group. Training Department Evolution.

8. Human Capital Management.

Quality of Life. Recruiting/Hiring. Transitioning into the Enterprise. Mentoring for Success. Managing the Process. Performance Management Process. The Organization as a Career.

9. Investing in Values.

How We Succeed. Actions as Result of Values. The Hidden Harvest. Values of the Saturn Car Company.

10. CEO Roles and Responsibilities.

Leadership. Partnership. Education. Flying Solo. The Leadership, Partnership, Education Model.

Appendix A. Sample Business Case Template.

Document Overview. Project Summary. Financial Summary. Supporting Information. Preliminary Requirements. Other Considerations. Assumptions. Risks. Sign-Off.

Appendix B. Personal Productivity Services Organization Overview.

Desktop Development Group Overview. Training Department Overview. Help Desk. Sample Help Desk Customer Service Survey. Technical Support. Second-Level Support. Applications Architecture Overview. Architecture Group Involvement.

Appendix C. Desktop Development Standards and Procedures.

Project Lifecycle. Requirements Gathering and Analysis. Project Acceptance. Project Planning. Design. Prototyping. Scope Freeze. Testing (End-User Acceptance). Support. Marketing. Implementation. Maintenance/Change Control. Postimplementation Follow-Up.

Appendix D. Systems Development Contract.

User Responsibilities. IT Responsibilities.




Will the Real "World-Class" IT Organization Please Stand Up?

Webster's describes Shangri-La as an imaginary, idyllic utopia or hidden paradise. For any IT professional, that usually means getting on an airplane and traveling to a resort with white sandy beaches and a beautiful ocean to de-stress. The daily pressures of IT are excruciating, and if allowed, IT professionals would hop on a plane to Shangri-La at least once a month.

Our definition of the ideal IT environment is one that is designed to exceed the enterprise's strategic goals while nurturing the individual to achieve exceptional productivity and job satisfaction. This environment can be recognized by the following signs:

  • Educated and committed enterprise executive management
  • Complete alignment with business goals and objectives
  • Strategic decisions that accommodate a rapidly changing, dynamic business environment
  • Cost-effective results
  • Common architecture (i.e., processes, tools, standards, etc.)
  • Individuals blossoming instead of being buried in a bureaucracy
  • A culture where honesty, mutual respect, and job satisfaction flourish

In this environment, it is not an overstatement to say, "Everyone looks forward to Mondays."

The most important ingredients are executive management commitment and personal involvement. Without these, very little is possible. Even something as mundane, though of exceptional importance, as a common architecture is unachievable without genuine executive management support. The following is an example of a Standard Enterprise Infrastructure:

  • Global Standard Desktop Operating System
  • Global Standard Desktop Application Suite
  • Global Standard Server Operating System
  • Global Standard Messaging and Collaboration Platform
  • Global Standard Remote Access
  • Global Standard Product Platform
  • Global Standard Data Backup
  • Global Standard Virus Scanning
  • Global Standard Server Hardware
  • Global Standard Data Backup
  • Global Standard Monitoring
  • Global Standard Development Database
  • Global Standard Development Methods and Tools
  • Global Standard Desktop Hardware
  • Global Standard Network

This formalized infrastructure cannot be lip service, as we have seen at hundreds of firms. True commitment means enforced decisions. True commitment requires educated understanding. It is the job of the CIO to demonstrate the relationship between understanding the strategic technology initiatives and realizing the long-term success of the firm. If executive management fails to see the value of their involvement, it is the CIO's role to change that perception or to think about his or her next career move.

Why Do We Find this Environment at S&P?

We find this environment at S&P because S&P has a strong culture based on clearly understood, shared values. These shared values are not simply conceptual; they are enumerated, discussed, reinforced, and acted on. Values are guiding principles, basic beliefs that are fundamental assumptions on which all subsequent actions are based. As a whole, values define the personality and character of an individual or group. Values are the essence of an individual or group and provide guidelines by which to make consistent decisions. In reality, values are ideals that are indicative of one's vision of how the world should work.

The Value and Purpose of this Book

This book seeks to demonstrate how the consistent application of a few very basic premises will lead to professional success (and personal satisfaction) in IT.

  • Chief executive officers (CEOs) will find what their IT function can contribute and how to maximize its value to the enterprise.
  • Executive managers will learn how to market and enhance their value to the enterprise.
  • Line managers will learn how to accelerate their career paths.
  • Aspiring managers will understand and master the "rules of the game."

Through actual examples, we will provide rules of thumb and an intuitive, as well as intellectual, understanding of these basic principles.


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