The results of McKinsey & Company’s eighth annual survey on business and technology strategy ( shows that 61% of executives state that it’s an IT priority to improve the effectiveness of business processes (a higher percentage than any other IT priority category). However, less than 20% of IT executives are completely or very effective at “Targeting places in organization where IT can add the most value.” To do better, IT executives need to think outside of IT and establish their place in broader change initiatives.

Not all change is improvement but to improve is to change and to improve the effectiveness of business processes means to change business processes.  Because the value from IT is in the using it, not in the having it, the link between technology and improvement necessarily passes through change.

To improve your Information Technology investment decisions and the effectiveness of IT, here’s some simple rules:

  • Stop investments not intended to bring about change.
  • Stop investment where change doesn't contribute to your mission.
  • Stop investments where there’s limited change capacity.
  • Create or deploy technology that’s “good enough” to bring about the change.
  • Recognize that it takes more than technology to bring about change and consider items such as changes to the organizational culture and structure; changes to relationships with suppliers, customers, partners, and employees; facility changes; changes in policies and incentives; and necessary staff skills and competencies.

Because everything that happens on the IT side of the keyboard is a cost (except in cases where a deliberate effort is made to replace a given technology with a less costly alternative) it's absolutely critical that IT executives look past their domain when trying to improve effectiveness and bring value to the organization.


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