SOURCE: The Boston Consulting Group

The Boston Consulting Group

September 22, 2010 00:01 ET

Information Technology Can Separate Winners From Losers in Today's Economy, Says The Boston Consulting Group

IT Can Enable Growth and Innovation; It Can Also Help Companies Seize Strategic Opportunities

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - September 22, 2010) -  The global economic recovery continues but is highly uneven, and prospects for individual companies vary greatly. A key factor that can separate winners from losers in this environment is information technology, says a new report from The Boston Consulting Group (BCG). The report, "IT Advantage: Fall 2010," is being released today.

The report discusses several ways in which IT can support or even drive a company's performance. It also provides examples of how the IT organization can optimize its own capabilities to maximize IT's value added. The report leads off with an interview with Eric Baudson, head of global IT and operations at Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank. Baudson discusses his ongoing efforts to optimize IT's value to the company as well as the IT-specific challenges of managing through the downturn. He also offers thoughts on change management within IT and how the role of the CIO is likely to evolve over time. 

The report also features a discussion of a primary focus for many companies today -- innovation -- and the critical role that information technology can play in its pursuit. IT can enable and drive improved customer experiences, new and better products and services, even entirely new business models. The key is knowing how to leverage it. This article offers thoughts on how to approach the task.

"IT Advantage: Fall 2010" covers a range of other topics related to maximizing IT's value to the business and optimizing IT's performance. Among the subjects that the report addresses are the following:

  • "Cloud computing in large enterprises." Cloud computing is being heralded by many as a game-changer for IT practices. This article concludes that "the cloud" may indeed transform IT management over the longer term, shifting how corporations consume computing resources, collaborate with outsiders, and create new businesses. But most companies are nowhere near that point.

  • "A 'gold standard' for managing IT for business value." The Innovation Value Institute's recently launched IT Capability Maturity Framework is a state-of-the-art tool designed to help companies optimize their IT capabilities and maximize IT's delivery of business value. This article discusses the framework and its application.

  • "Improving IT efficiency in government." The Australian government managed a fundamental overhaul of its IT, one that trimmed AU$1 billion in costs without negatively affecting the delivery of government services. This article provides the details. It holds lessons for both public and private sectors.

  • "Optimizing IT architectures in the insurance industry." A streamlined and optimized IT architecture can translate into competitive advantage for insurance companies. This article offers insurers a blueprint for tackling the challenge, from defining a vision to ensuring that the right IT skills are on hand for implementation.

"IT can be a powerful competitive weapon in the current economic and business environment," said Wolfgang Thiel, global leader of BCG's Information Technology practice and one of the report's coauthors. "But it remains largely underutilized. Companies would do well to more actively exploit it. Doing so could be the difference between success and stagnation."

To receive a copy of the report or arrange an interview with one of the authors, please contact Eric Gregoire at +1 617 850 3783 or gregoire.eric@bcg.com.

About The Boston Consulting Group

The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is a global management consulting firm and the world's leading advisor on business strategy. We partner with clients in all sectors and regions to identify their highest-value opportunities, address their most critical challenges, and transform their businesses. Our customized approach combines deep insight into the dynamics of companies and markets with close collaboration at all levels of the client organization. This ensures that our clients achieve sustainable competitive advantage, build more capable organizations, and secure lasting results. Founded in 1963, BCG is a private company with 69 offices in 40 countries. For more information, please visit www.bcg.com.