McKinsey Quarterly has an excellent article on “An IT growth strategy for insurers” – an interview with Generali Deutschland’s COO. Even though the article is geared towards Insurance industry and its trends, many ideas discussed still holds true for other industries as well. Part of this article talks about technologies like Facebook, and Smartphone applications playing an important role in Company’s future. I see 2 recurring themes (rather, pain points) in most interviews with C-level executives – (a) Lack of Business-IT alignment and (b) Inadequate IT skills & capabilities in Execution.
“…… interactions of business executives with IT are often patchy, tending to focus narrowly on efficiency or localized investment, not on defining a coherent, company-wide IT portfolio. It’s not surprising that the industry’s failed product launches often result from inadequate or even nonexistent collaboration between IT and business. Both sides should work to develop forums and decision-making bodies where fruitful interactions can take place.”
4 takeaways for me:
- Company’s should include technologies like Social Media (in addition to Cloud Computing) while crafting future business strategies
- Read the market and competition
- Instill a collaborative environment between Business and IT (read: invite CIOs for all strategic and business meetings and get IT’s view on projects)
- Build IT Execution capabilities