WSJ offers decision tree for executive involvement in technology investment

How CEOs Can Manage Information Technology - WSJ.com

Jeanne Ross and Peter Weill for the WSJ:

In a digital economy, IT is the foundation for doing business. This is easy to see at born-digital companies like Amazon.com and Google. But companies of all types are discovering that how they manage IT is crucial to their competitiveness. It determines whether the company's dealings with customers and suppliers are efficient, scalable and timely; whether employees have the information they need to do their jobs; and whether employees throughout the company see technology as a tool to move forward, or an anchor that keeps them running in place.

To provide focus, Ross and Weill offer four excellent questions executives and strategic planners should be asking of their IT pros and investments.

  1. Are we using technology to transform our business, or are we just adding bells and whistles to existing processes?
  2. Are you ignoring important business differences as you standardize processes across the company?
  3. Who is making sure the company's digital strategy is being implemented?
  4. Is electronic data empowering your people or controlling them?

The summary and case in the discussion of each question is spot on and worth digesting this morning as you evaluate the technology at work in your change initiatives.