Interesting Report on IT depts role in value creation

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The CIGREF (french big companies CIO club) issued and interesting report co-writen with McKinsey. Although it’s writen in French, [ now availabe in english] I would like to share some points with you. And, if ever you know someone who can make a quick translation for you I think it’s really worht.

– IT doesn’t impact directly value creation

– value doesn’t reside in tools but in their use

– as a result, IT depts don’t have to provide people with tools, hoping it will meet their needs and they’ll manage to do something efficient with it, but have to fulfill people’s needs.

– IT depts can’t create value by themselves and on their own, they have to co-create it with business managers.

– by the way, IT’s impact on value creation has to be measured by business indicators and not by IT ones.

That reminds me of the debate on enteprise 2.0 ROI which, according to me, in neither soft nor qualitative but can be well and truly measured through the performance of the business processes it supports. For example, the report quotes a case study from AXA ( a big insurance company) where results are measured through Balanced Scorecard indicators which reminds me of my series about strategy maps.

If this reflection can apply to all IT issues, it’s obviously relevant when discussing social sofware issues.

Whatever, the end of the “one size fits all” logic is coming closer et the time when IT depts role will be to provide people with the tools that match their needs instead of providing a standardized offer which makes IT people feel comfortable but doesn’t help people to be efficient in their day to day job. No more “try to do what you can with what we give you” but “Why can I do for you ? What are your needs ? Fopr what purpose ? ” instead !

It inspires me another reflextion on the very notion of goal. If we consider the IT activity is a goal in itself, the current way of doing things is logical : rationalize costs, tools, providing one unified offer. But if we consider it has to serve corporate performance as a whole, measuring its efficiency according to its own results is contrary to any business efficiency approach. By the way, it takes us back again to the discussion on “local optima vs. global maximum” that companies will soon have to deal with. But we’ll be discussin that further in a few weeks…

However that may be, the report can be downloaded here.