Getting the Message Out

Reinventing the IT department is all well and good, but unless IT staffers and other business units fully understand the new structure and its expanded role, the benefits will be slow to materialize.

The revamped IT group at Procter & Gamble, for example, “is all about identifying what is of business value and determining how technology can help provide that value. It’s not about merely keeping systems and networks up and running,” says Filippo Passerini, global business services officer and CIO at the consumer packaged goods giant. And its name should reflect what the organization does. So, what was once called IT is now called Information & Decision Solutions. The name not only more accurately describes what the organization provides, but also helps IT employees better understand that their mission is now to deliver strategies and technology-enabled solutions to the company.

Similarly, at Tewksbury, Mass.-based Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems, the department that was known as Information Systems is now called Information Solutions, which more accurately describes what the group offers the rest of the company, says CIO Steve Olive.

At MIT, CIO Jerry Grochow regularly communicates what the IT organization is working on and publishes updates on its accomplishments in various campus news outlets. IT also produces a bimonthly newsletter in print and online and holds lunchtime seminars and other forums to share new technology projects with other departments.

“When I came to MIT, there weren’t any dedicated resources focused on communication for the IT department,” Grochow notes. Now, a dedicated IT communications staffer reports to him.

“Communication is as important to our success and the success of our institution as the technology that we produce and support,” Grochow says.

See the main story, Reimagining the IT Department.

Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

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