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McKinsey recommends business leaders get a grip on IT

Cliff Saran

Management consultant McKinley has published a report recommending that CEOs and senior executives get a grip on technology that will affect their industries.

McKinley's advice reflects a change in perception about IT. For years IT leaders have fought, with varying degrees of success, to align the IT function with the business, but now the consultants that help the business leaders are urging them to take control of IT. 

In a new paper, McKinley noted: “The IT function can’t be held solely accountable for delivering value from IT. Lower process costs, for example, benefit business units and functions other than IT.

“Technology is making boundaries between industries more porous and providing opportunities for attacker models. Companies are harnessing technologies such as social media and location-based services to reinvent the customer experience and capture market share.”

The report urged business leaders to look much more closely at their IT budget to ensure IT investments are focused on where the business is heading strategically: “The [IT] portfolio should be managed to keep execution risk in an acceptable range.” 

The IT function can’t be held solely accountable for delivering value from IT

McKinley

McKinley's research shows that, on average, large IT projects run 45% over budget and exceed deadlines by 7%, while delivering 56% less value than predicted. 

“These risks can be managed by monitoring the portfolio carefully and deploying effective processes that assure value will be created,” stated the report.

McKinley's advice reflects the theme from the recent Forrester CIO Summit in London, which said businesses were looking to derive value through digitisation, where they become providers of digitally-enabled services driven by contextual data. 

The technology elements of this are too important to be left to an IT department, according to Forrester CEO George Colony.


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