CIO BRIEF: Cultural Change and Business Alignment

How the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and Loblaw redefined IT to get ahead of the business transformation curves
CIO BRIEF: Cultural Change and Business Alignment

This discussion paper is based on the proceedings of a CIO Brief meeting focusing on redefining IT. Many chief information officers are now being challenged to change their IT organizations to integrate new technologies and ways of working but are often unsure about what will bring most value to the business. Redefining IT can be evolutionary or revolutionary; it encompasses the full scope of existing IT responsibilities — and adding new ones. Often, business leaders may not see immediate value in these changes either because they are foundational investments or are experimental. Yet there is no question that IT must change — its processes, activities, responsibilities, talent, and technologies are all under scrutiny. In addition, redefinition requires business change as well. Cultures, processes, leaders, and expectations may be resistant to new ways of working and collaboration, and act as barriers to change.

Speakers at this session were Russ Bruch, senior vice-president and CIO, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan; and David Markwell, vice-president of information technology, Loblaw. Bruch discussed the six-step process of cultural change and business alignment that CIOs need to consider. Markwell shared his guiding principles for business transformation.

The paper is written by Heather A. Smith, a senior research associate, and James McKeen, emeritus professor, both of Smith School of Business.

CIO Brief meetings bring together chief information officers from leading Canadian organizations to exchange best practices around information technology management strategy. Membership is by invitation only.  
The sessions are co-sponsored by Deloitte and Smith School of Business.


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