Toyota Motor Sales

"IT-Strategie gibt’s nicht in Leder gebunden"

Von Barbara Cooper

A new strategic model

My next step was to use those drivers as compass points in a multidimensional model that would frame the issues for the top executives. We mapped aspects of our business, such as the supply chain, to associated organization structures (after-market parts, for instance), the business processes, the affiliated systems and the fullyloaded costs. (We had done a detailed audit of all of our systems costs, so those data points were accessible to us.) Against this we ran a regression analysis to deriverisk parameters like the age and cost of systems and the skill sets needed to support them. We plotted points of risk on the model ranging from large red dots to small green dots. When we were finished, our executives could see on this single sheet of 6’ X 4’ paper everything they needed to draw conclusions regarding risk associated with our strategic business drivers and the systems that support them. Ostensibly, for the first time our executives could see how changing business conditions anywhere along the supply chain would affect their IT portfolio.

“I’ll be retired before then”

That changed the conversation instantly. It was "Oh…my… God. Look at this." Some executives asked, "How long do I have?" One looked at his watch and joked, "Thankfully, I’ll be retired before then." We created a second layer of information to show the real-time situation and the short-term factors in play. The executives were able to see how applications ranging from our 30-year-old legacy systems to the newer distributed systems to the technology we were planning to bring in, mapped to their business drivers. That had never happened before. They now understood the correlation between their ability to go-to-market, what the cost impacts would be, and how many competing interests would be vying across the enterprise at the same time.

CIO-Council: Das internationale Netzwerk.
CIO-Council: Das internationale Netzwerk.

It’s been four years since we began this effort. I’ve realized that at the end of the day, you can’t change the fact that silos exist, and that the individual heading up marketing is worried about marketing and the individual heading up engineering is worried about engineering. But the CIO has the ability to help the business rationalize across all of those silos against a set of broader longterm objectives they can all agree on. By doing so, we succeeded in getting executives comfortable talking about strategic issues at an enterprise level, and they appreciate the complexity and challenge of integrating business processes, IT and go-to-market strategies.

“Won’t do technology for food”

This has certainly changed my role. Fifty percent of my focus is now on business engagement and strategy. But it also helped focus my attention on the next generation, the people that will succeed me. I want to see a day when the CIO is sitting in an executive committee meeting, and when it comes IT’s turn to give an update, we are no longer asked solely about how are our projects are going and what’s the operational condition of IT?” Instead of seeing us exclusively as cultivators of the technology crop, they will see the CIO as the person with the best purview to look strategically at how to optimize go-tomarket capabilities. I believe we have reached the point where our customers no longer see that neon sign flashing on our forehead that says “kick me” or “will do technology for food”.

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