SOURCE: X by 2

X by 2

May 23, 2013 00:18 ET

X by 2's Petersmark Tells How Insurers Can Create IT Plans That Deliver Value in IASA's Interpreter

FARMINGTON HILLS, MI--(Marketwired - May 23, 2013) - The most elegantly articulated information technology strategy isn't worth the paper it's printed on if it isn't implemented, Frank Petersmark, CIO advocate at insurance technology consultancy X by 2, writes in the Interpreter magazine, published by IASA.

The article, "Creating an Actionable IT Plan That Delivers Value," gives practical tips on how to do just that.

"Articulate the aspirational and the long term, but focus on what's actionable and achievable in the short to mid-term," Petersmark writes. "A plan too laden with techno-speak will be unintelligible to the business executive peers whose support is vital, and a plan too fluffy and short on specifics will be perceived as political fodder by the IT division that needs to drive its implementation."

Focus on what your business executives want to hear about the most: spend, pace, risk, and options. 

Most CIOs are logical and analytical. They "need to polish their marketing skills to sell the IT strategic plan -- collaborating, influencing, and convincing carry the day with your executive peers." 

Being able to articulate just what success will look like is crucial. Petersmark recommends creating "storyboards" -- pictorial representations of some future state.

"Tell a story about the future work day of somebody in the claims or underwriting department, or of a future financial review meeting, or even of a product design session," he writes. 

End with a clear executive summary that articulates what will be executed and when, and what value dimensions that execution will drive, he advises. "This is a critically important element of an actionable plan that creates value for the organization."

Focus on where the organization is going next rather than on where it's just been. 

Unfortunately, few IT strategic plans drive value.

"Most become exercises in corporate and board checklists and never really get implemented," he writes. "Executives who have to buy in do not fully understand what they're signing up for, and what's at stake for their organizations. That is where it becomes incumbent on the CIO to create and communicate the plan in compelling and innovative ways."

The full article can be read at http://tinyurl.com/b9d4jsb.

X by 2 (www.xby2.com) in Farmington Hills, Mich., specializes in IT transformation projects for the insurance industry. He can be reached at Fpetersmark@xby2.com

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