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Do or Die Questions Boards Should Ask About Technology

McKinsey recently posted a set of 9 questions all board should be asking about how technology is being used in their companies.  It’s worth a read for all the questions and the additional detail they provide.  I want to focus on the first four and some of the implications.

  1. How will IT change the basis of competition in our industry?
  2. What will it take to exceed our customers’ expectations in a digital world?
  3. Do our business plans reflect the full potential of technology to improve our performance?
  4. Is our portfolio of technology investments aligned with opportunities and threats?

 

Each of the questions McKinsey asks above begins with the understanding that technology is a tool.  As a tool, it must be understood not only by some smart techy guys ensconced in a corner somewhere but by key leaders all the way up to and including board members.  Too often, the business lets IT speak a foreign language and then get sidetracked.  Too often, IT lets business walk away when they don’t understand the business implications of the use (or not) of a technology.

I especially love the first question on IT changing the basis of competition.  We have plenty of examples of how technology changed everything.  No business wants to be left flatfooted.  I think it’s incumbent upon everyone to pay more attention to the implications, benefits, and true costs.

So read the entire article.

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