2. How good are my capabilities today and how good do they need to be? Organisations should identify where, and how much, muscle is required to reach the finish line. Different capabilities are relevant over time.
In the early stages of a transformation, when funding the journey is the priority, cost management is likely to be prominent, while capabilities in portfolio, program and project delivery will come to the fore once savings have been reinvested in IT.
3. What is the right way to improve capabilities? Leaders must define a manageable set of clear, outcome-focused initiatives to improve capabilities in the areas where they are needed most.
To do this they should apply an objective, evidence-based framework to benchmark their IT function against peers and understand where their capabilities are not in line with best practice so they can focus investment in fixing the right areas.
There are tools available to businesses, like the IT Capability Maturity Framework, that explicitly align IT with business value and can be used in a number of different scenarios, whether an organisation needs to reduce costs in the face of high IT spending, target areas for investment to improve capabilities or align its current capabilities with those it needs for the future.
Such tools can help transform IT functions into leaner, more productive and flexible organisations. In the following case study, technology was a critical enabler for the company's target market, based on standard enterprise-resource-planning systems, desktop operating environments and global infrastructure.
Andrew Arcuri, a Principal at BCG and the firm's Asia Pacific Leader for the IT Capability Maturity Framework. Richard Helm is a partner and managing director in BCG's Sydney office and a core member of the firm's Technology Advantage Office.