weillross_300dpiRegular readers will know that from time to time I refer to research by Peter Weill, Chairman & Senior Research Scientist, Center for Information Systems Research (CISR) at the MIT Sloan School of Management.  I’ve had the privilege of knowing Dr. Weill for many years, and having collaborated with him on several multi-company research initiatives.

Peter and his colleague and co-author Jeanne Ross recently published their latest book called IT Savvy: What Top Executives Must Know to Go from Pain to Gain.

This is an excellent and important book.  It is notably the first book by this duo written for the top executive community, rather than for IT professionals – the target readership for prior Weill/Ross books.  I’m well known for repeating the mantra, “Organizations get the IT they deserve!” This book really reinforces the leadership roles and practices that help converge business and IT.  The ideas are beautifully organized, clearly presented and convincingly illustrated by interesting case studies.

I don’t want to pretend that one book can, by itself, move you along the road to “premium return on IT.”  But it sure is a great resource and, most importantly, a way to educate your key stakeholders what it takes to get on the right road!

Practices that Earn a Premium Return on IT

The authors, building on 15 years of research, describe what they refer to as the “Three Obsessions of the IT-Savvy Firm.”  These are:

  1. Fixing What’s Broken About IT.
  2. Building a Digitized Platform.
  3. Exploiting the Platform for Profitable Growth

Citing several case studies to illustrate their points and help make the practices real, they work through issues of business operating model and the IT implications of operating model choices: IT funding model, digitized platforms, governance, driving value, and leadership.

Read, Share and Discuss!

Read this book with the idea of sharing it with your business partners and stakeholders.  Set up or take advantage of current opportunities to drive dialog around the implications of IT Savvy to your organization.

I believe you will recognize in the IT Savvy book many of the practices, recommendations, and “vignette’s” that surface in this blog from time.  In fact, Peter and Jeanne’s work over the years, and my research experiences with Peter, has greatly influenced my belief system, and with it, my approach to IT management consulting, at least over the last 15 years!

Book Cover Image Courtesy of Harvard Business Press

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