Chapter 10:Leadership of the IT Function

Chapter 10: Leadership of the
IT Function (IT的領導角色)
Summarized from: Lynda Applegate, Robert D.
Austin, and Deborah L. Soule, Corporate
Information Strategy And Management: Text
and Cases, McGraw Hill, 8th Edition, 2009.
Four broad roles for IT(IT的角色)
 Factory工廠的作用
 Turnaround轉機
 Strategic
The role of IT
Sustaining current business operations保持當
前的業務操作and in shaping future business
operations塑造未來的業務運營or strategy is
relatively limited.
May not be operationally dependent on IT.
Typical role of IT in many professional services
firms專業服務公司(e.g., law firms and consulting
IT systems are absolutely critical絕對關鍵to
current business operations.
Like the Nasdaq Stock Exchange納斯達克
交易所or PSA (PSA Peugeot Citroën, car
manufacturer), where reliable, zero-defect
operation of IT零缺陷的IT運作is essential
for performing
Core activities核心業務within the
organization and
 Across the extended business network of
customers, supplier, and partners.
View IT as a means for business transformation企業轉
While they are not currently operationally dependent
on IT, their IT projects and innovations are intended意
圖to exploit emerging strategic opportunities利用新出
現的戰略機會or transform business capabilities.
Consider the case of Medtronic (world leader in
medical technology世界領在醫療技術), sought to
differentiate itself by offering an IT-enabled service:
remote monitoring for certain pacemaker起搏器models.
Pacemeaker - small device that's placed in the chest or
abdomen (belly)胸部或腹部to help control abnormal heart
Strategic rely intensely激烈on IT to
sustain current business operations維持
目前的業務運作and enable their future
 Such as Charles Schwab嘉信理財, a
discount online brokerage firm經紀公司.
 IT and business strategy are not just
aligned一致; they are intertwined交織在
Recognizing Transitions in the
Role of IT
Most firms start out using IT in a support role and
some can remain in this pattern of use for a long
 Yet internal and external factors, such as increasing
organizational familiarity and expertise with core
technologies, changing IT functionality不斷變化的IT
功能, or competitive dynamics, naturally
Encourage促進both further experimentation試驗and
increasing integration of technology技術with core business
These changes trigger transitions in the role of IT
from Support to Turnaround, to Factory, even to the
Strategic quadrant for firms that continue to evolve
their dependence on IT改進他們對IT的依賴.
Turnaround Transitions
Consider the consulting firm described earlier that used IT solely
in a support role.
The firm had begun to use IT to provide consulting advice顧問議建to
its global customers全球的客戶.
Consulting reports were advertised and sold on
Canyon Ranch酒店和溫泉浴場, provides an example of a
company in which the role of IT is transitioning from Support to
Turnaround to Strategic.
Prior to 1996, Canyon Ranch’s only core IT system was its Computer
Loading System, which was primarily used to automate routine backoffice accounting, payroll, and reservation預約activities.
But within the context of increasing competition in the hospitality
sector酒店業, senior executives began to explore ways to drive
customer loyalty and sought to use real-time business information
and analytics分析功能to improve the decision making it entailed.
Thus, began the transition in the role of IT from Support to
Factory Transitions
A small manufacturing firm highlights the shift in IT role
from Support to Factory.
Until the 1990s, the role of IT in this small manufacturing
company was strictly support—important for ensuring
efficiency of back-office activities後台辦公活動like payroll and
In the mid-1990s, the company began to expand its product
line擴大其產品線and entered new markets, domestically and
Purchase an Enterprise Resource Planning(ERP) system
To streamline, integrate, and coordinate all aspects of
company operations, including how supplies were ordered,
products were manufactured and sold, and orders were
To gain better control of the company’s operations as it
launched new products and rapidly expanded into multiple
international locations.
Strategic Transitions
A small manufacturing firm highlights the shift
in IT role from Support to Factory to Strategic
Investment in a new IT application that would
collect, and make available, real-time customer
information that could then be integrated with
information from over 60 plants工廠and two
customer service call centers.
As the value of IT to strategic decision making
increased, the role of the IT continued its transition
from Factory to Strategic.
Leadership Approaches to the Role of IT
Organizing for Low-Cost Stability and
When IT fulfills a support role, the IT assets of a
company usually can be adequately managed by a
technical professional and a team of technical staff.
Are unlikely to need interact directly with senior
executives of the company.
IT-led innovation priorities tend to be targeted toward
incremental, operational improvements, such as
increased process automation流程自動化, but do
relatively little to change its position or power地位或權力
in its industry or business network.
Leadership Approaches to the Role of IT
Organizing for Factory-like Efficiency and Reliability
Firms in the Factory quadrant are critically dependent on their
IT systems for business continuity(連續性), and thus, their
leadership approach should focus on ensuring the utmost
availability and reliability of these critical assets.
The IT function should be led by someone who can enforce a
highly disciplined approach執行高度紀律的做法to operations
and development.
IT department’s mission is ensuring the necessary degree of
systems security, reliability, and availability and to coordinate
IT developments and projects should be designed,
implemented, and managed by business unit executives in
partnership with IT executives由業務部門的主管與 IT管理人
員合作管理to ensure future business needs are met in
conjunction with process continuity.
Leadership Approaches to the Role of
Organizing for Experimentation and Rapid Exploitation (試
Firms in the Turnaround quadrant look to their IT function
as a catalyst to transform organizational capabilities改造組
織能力and reveal new strategic avenues.
New IT initiatives新的IT計劃are often defined,
implemented, and managed at the top levels of the
corporation, and the leadership of IT should have direct
relationships with the firm’s senior executive team高層管
An IT leader with an entreprenurial (創業者的)approach
to getting things done will be a good fit at this stage.
This person should have expertise in turning technologycentric ideas into business opportunities and be skilled at
collaborating to leverage the cross functional expertise
and resources of different parties.
Leadership Approaches to the Role of
Organizing for operational discipline and business agility
The CIO is expected to drive business value by using IT to scale
the business and increase market share, expand quickly into
new market and products, and build emerging IT-based
businesses. This person needs to possess both technical and
general management expertise and have a strong focus on
execution and growth .
IT executives tend to be members of the executive committee. In
some of firms, the head of the IT function is a member of the
board of directors.
IT investments focus in initiatives to accelerate and sustain the
growth of the business, initiatives that are often defined,
implemented, and managed at senior business levels.
An important part of the Strategic IT function’s mission is to scan
leading-edge technologies, and initiate explorations of their use
to solve business problems or address opportunities.