Measure the success of your IT-business partnerships

How CIOs are determining if new attempts to partner with the business are making a difference

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An exclusive series by the CIO Executive Council

SCENARIO:


Dwayne Warner, CIO, Carnival Cruise Lines (See profile)

When I took over the role of CIO at Carnival at the end of last year, I knew the IT organization had to change. Our platform-centric approach, while efficient, couldn't provide the same value to the company and our customers that we could offer with a portfolio-centric approach. After speaking with my executive peers about where there was the greatest need for increased partnership with business functions, I shifted some of our application managers to portfolio managers and re-aligned the IT staff accordingly. These portfolio managers work closely with business teams to develop three-year road maps that facilitate the enterprise strategic plan.

This is the first time we've had a formal governance process that maps technology to business initiatives to help achieve business goals, and that spans departments within a function, such as finance or marketing. So now that we've set up the structure, we need to encourage people to embrace the change. The internal survey I conducted to gauge how the rest of Carnival now views IT shows an improvement compared to how they viewed the department in the past, but I am still trying to identify indicators of long-term success and methods that encourage acceptance.


Sounding Board's Discussion Points:

Portfolio managers – Governance process – IT-business partnerships – Success metrics

PEER COUNSEL:

Track details of the value that IT staff provides

Michael Del Priore, VP and Global CIO, Church and Dwight

(See profile)

I have created business-focused IT positions at several national and multinational companies. So when I started implementing these changes at Church and Dwight, I knew that one of the most basic signs of success is when you can call up one of your business leaders and ask whether the portfolio manager assigned to that function is providing value and is part of their team. Another key measure I look at is the quality of the strategic plan for the given function, as this provides the context we use to make decisions with the portfolio-management process.

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