Is Your IT Growth Engine Sputtering? Some Questions

Companies can ask these basic questions to determine whether IT capabilities are contributing to–or hindering–their growth.

  1. Is your total IT spending below or above the average for your industry?
    (Clearly below, 1 point; average, 2 points; clearly above, 3 points)
  2. What share of your IT budget is spent on new capabilities?
    (0-10%, 1 point; 11-35%, 3 points; above 35%, 4 points)
  3. Who decides the size of your IT budget?
    (Your company’s business units, 1 point; business with IT input, 2 points; IT alone, 0 points)
  4. Is your company satisfied with its IT capabilities and services?
    (Not at all, 0 points; yes, with prominent exceptions, 3 points; yes, 5 points)
  5. Is your IT organization familiar with–or consulted on–your business’s growth strategy and initiatives?
    (Neither familiar nor consulted, 0 points; familiar, 3 points; familiar and consulted, 5 points)
  6. Do you consider your competitors’ IT superior to yours?
    (Don’t know, 0 points; in just a few areas, 1 point; usually not, 4 points)
  7. Does a business team have a major role in each IT project, including infrastructure and software?
    (Rarely, 0 points; just for key projects, 3 points; always, 6 points)
  8. Does your IT team quantify the return on investment of its projects?
    (Rarely, 1 point; where possible, 3 points; always, 4 points)

Here’s how to evaluate your totals:

  • A score of 4-14 means that fundamental IT performance and capability issues are inhibiting your company’s growth.
  • A score of 15-20 means that IT is not powering growth and is performing poorly. However, it could do better with the confidence of and support from the business side of your company.
  • A score of 21-30 indicates your IT organization is not powering growth, despite business leaders who are IT “believers.” It also shows IT needs business ownership for infrastructure projects.
  • A score above 30 means the IT and business teams are successfully working together to achieve growth.

IT-powered growth
by David Shpilberg
Bain & Company

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