In It For The Long Haul

Von Todd Datz

It´s Not My Way Or The Highway

In most companies, information technology projects beginlike this: CEO reads in magazine at health club aboutCompetitor X using Technology Y; CEO says to CIO, "Why can´twe do that?" CIO makes feeble attempt to explain why butunderstands that the unspoken message is "Do it." In otherwords, the request is thrown over the wall to IT sans anybusiness-IT collaboration. Chris Lofgren, CEO of SchneiderLogistics, says that view of IT as a service organizationwas prevalent at Schneider, too, until the company launcheda technology steering committee a few years back. Sincethen, any wall between business and IT has disappeared -business executives understand technology because, frankly,their jobs depend on it.

Craig Dickman, vice-president of IT, and a team of five workfor Schneider National. Dickman´s role is to look foropportunities where technology can make the company moreproductive and efficient. He and his team work closely withbusiness leaders on all aspects of strategy. "We go out ofour way to manage the [business-IT] alignment, at a deeperlevel than is typical," he says.

The nine-member technology steering committee overseesIT-driven projects. That committee takes a hard look atthese projects to make sure they are really deliveringvalue. Lofgren says that when it was formed, the committeecancelled most of the 500 or so projects that were underway. They were cut because they weren´t strategicinvestments, nor did the business side have anyaccountability, he notes.

Zur Startseite