1. By changing the way his group talks about IT investments, CIO Tim Schaefer is trying to change the way the rest of the company sees IT. Why do you think this is necessary? What would be the prevailing mindset about IT in his company, such that he needs to do something about it? Provide some examples of how IT may be regarded in this organization.
2. Chip Gliedman of Forrester Research breaks down IT risks into implementation and impact considerations. Why do you think these are so difficult to manage? What makes IT investments different from investments in other areas of a company?
3. Do you agree with the notion that IT investments can be treated in the same manner as financial investments, and similarly quantified by putting a dollar value to them? Why or why not? Would your answer change depending on the type of IT investment under consideration?

CIO Tim Schaefer thinks words do matter. When he looked at the words IT used inside Northwestern Mutual Life, he felt that they sent exactly the wrong message about IT's role in meeting business goals. So, over the last 18 months, these words are out: IT costs, internal customers, IT leaders, alignment, and IT systems. These words are in: IT investments, external customers, business leaders, integration, service levels, and IT assets. In addition, "IT and the business" is now referred to as "our business."

  • CreatedDecember 31, 2012
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