1 | 2 | 3 | All | Print this article
Download PDF

« Back

IT Savvy: Making IT a strategic asset to outperform competitors

Three Rules of IT-Savvy Firms

IT Savvy

At savvy firms, IT is a strategic asset. In today's digital economy, if IT isn't an asset, it's a liability. To transform IT from a liability to an asset, management must continually pursue three activities:

1. Fixing what's broken

In most firms, IT fails to meet business needs because of a broken accountability and decision-making model. Without a clear, enterprise-wide approach to how IT will support your strategy, you will continue to focus resources on tactical systems instead of using IT as a basis for doing business in today's digital economy. IT-savvy firms have addressed their legacy problems by providing both a clear vision for how IT will support business operations and a well-understood funding model focused on delivering that vision.

Over many years, for example, Aetna had built each new system to support a different insurance product. As a result, Aetna entered the 21st century with multiple, redundant processes and systems as well as fragmented customer data. The company had multiple approaches for core activities like opening an account, underwriting a policy, and paying a claim. Aetna's management structures and decision-making processes reinforced its piecemeal business processes. The result: Aetna had no good way to provide a single view of a customer's account.

To improve its systems and processes, Aetna first had to rethink how to deliver goods and services to customers. In doing so, the company reorganized the business around its major customer segments, redefined its business processes in terms of customer requirements, and reengineered the IT project funding process to focus on enterprise initiatives rather than product silos. These were critical steps in preparing to build a digitized platform.

More »