9 Questions Boards Should Ask about Technology

  1. How will IT change the basis of competition in our industry?
    • Who are our emerging competitors?
    • How is technology helping us win against traditional and new competitors?
    • How can we use technology to enter new markets?
  2. What will it take to exceed our customers´ expectations in a digital world?
    • How does our customer experience compare with that of leaders in other sectors?
    • What will our customers expect in the future, and what will it take to delight them?
    • Do we have clear plans for how to meet or exceed their expectations?
  3. Do our business plans reflect the full potential of technology to improve our performance?
    • Has the P&L opportunity and threat from IT been quantified by business unit and by market?
    • Will our current plans fully capture the opportunity and neutralize the threat?
    • What is the time horizon of these plans, and have they been factored into future financial projections for both business and IT?
  4. Is our portfolio of technology investments aligned with opportunities and threats?
    • How well is our IT-investment portfolio aligned with business value with regard to opportunities and threats?
    • How well does the portfolio balance short-term and long-term needs?
    • Do we have effective value-assurance processes in place to mitigate execution risk?
  5. How will IT improve our operational and strategic agility?
    • How does our business and IT agility measure up with that of our competitors?
    • How do our IT plans increase our business and IT agility?
    • Are our sourcing relationships increasing or reducing our agility?
  6. Do we have the capabilities required to deliver value from IT?
    • Do we have the capabilities needed to drive full value from our existing IT systems?
    • What are the weakest links in our capabilities?
    • Do we have enough IT-literate executives?
    • What is our plan for upgrading capabilities?
  7. Who is accountable for IT and how do we hold them to account?
    • What is our operating model for IT, and is it aligned with our business priorities?
    • Who is accountable for delivering business value from IT-both overall and by activity?
    • Are those accountable being measured using business-friendly scorecards that create the right incentives?
  8. Are we comfortable with our level of IT risk?
    • Do we have a comprehensive understanding of the IT risks we face?
    • How is our level of IT risk measured, and is it aligned with the company´s overall risk appetite?
    • How are we reducing our IT risk on an ongoing basis?
    • Who is responsible for overseeing the level of IT risk?
  9. Are we making the most of our technology story?
    • What are the key messages we should communicate?
    • How, when, and to whom should they be communicated?

Source: The Do-or-Die Questions Boards Should Ask About Technology by Paul Willmott | The McKinsey Quarterly

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