It is very difficult to predict the future, yet IT is being asked to do just that by developing strategic long-term IT plans for their enterprise. Everyday IT is being asked to enable their firms by developing improved partnerships with their customers and agents, transforming internal processes into fully digital mechanisms, replacing core IT systems, all the while ensuring this is done in a secure and cost effective manner.

In order for an IT strategy to be successful though, it needs the help of key control areas like strategic planning, legal, regulatory and finance, as well as operating functions including underwriting, claims, actuarial, product development, marketing, etc. If this isn’t challenging enough, IT leaders in large organizations must be able to create a strategy that works in the context of multiple divisions, entities, and countries.

In order to provide IT executives with guidance on deploying and defining a multi-divisional IT strategy, Novarica offers CIOs the following checklist to consider when initiating a multi-divisional IT strategy project. This list is based on the direct experience of Novarica’s senior team and our CIO Research Council members.

  • Start top down across divisions and within a division, the validate bottom up.
  • Understand divisional business and IT strategy.
  • Determine cultural or local drivers
  • Consider having workshops with key business and IT representatives.
  • Do a SWOT assessment for each division.
  • Determine the senior level IT and business strategy sponsor in each division.
  • Map qualitative and quantitative benefits locally by division and measure success incrementally.

While the steps listed above are meant to be a suggestion and a start of how to go about this activity, ultimately the message is one of consensus and validation. The process used to develop a multi-divisional IT plan must be validated both at the enterprise and divisional levels, and the multi-divisional IT plan owner must take the time to gain consensus at the enterprise, business, and IT level, as well as in each division.
This blog entry has been republished with permission.

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