To replicate the close-knit relationship at the larger corporate level, Rapken created separate spending accounts for the operating companies to approve their own small projects. This allowed operating companies to directly control a portion of the IT investment while large project prioritization was performed at an enterprise level. This ensured that IT was working on the most meaningful projects for the corporation while simultaneously working on projects that were directed by the operating companies.
Refocus on the end customer. One of Halloran‚Äôs goals was to enhance client servicing by bringing IT subject matter experts into front-line discussions with account management and Medco clients. Medco‚Äôs products and services are heavily customized for it‚Äôs bigger clients, and many of those services are IT-intensive such as the online pharmacy and online access to health benefit information. The IT organization needed to be flexible and responsive to client needs and reduce market delivery times, says Halloran.
Halloran knew his IT team had to be empowered to make those resourcing and scheduling changes required to meet client expectations around service and product delivery. "I told the account teams that we needed to keep the commitments that we make to the customer, so we really had to understand their [IT-related] needs," says Halloran. "Plus, I let them know that I wasn‚Äôt just going to put IT staff in front of customers without adequate training."
Halloran established an IT Leadership Program to give his staff the skills to interface with customers and training them to engage business partners on their terms. Instead of an IT manager saying "no" to an unreasonable client demand, the team can now effectively work with clients to reach an outcome which satisfies their needs. Today, Medco IT staff is aligned with individual client segments such as small business or health plan. IT members attend monthly team meetings with the client and sit with the corresponding account managers. The best part - customers now know their IT partners by name, says Halloran
Build business-oriented IT managers. Gregg developed a new career path for IT that ensures her senior managers will have a strong business sensibility. "Today, our career paths are not just about an upward progression, but about getting experience across a spectrum of the business," she says. "Your opportunity for advancement is definitely enhanced by having a broad range of experiences within IT," Gregg says. The career path experience enables her staff to think more strategically with the business. These managers also have a new obligation to develop strategic and business-partnering skills in their staff. Gregg recently added an innovation expectation, tasking her directors to improve their ability to brainstorm new ideas and to get others to think more innovatively.