Consolidator – Texas
Management had significant plans for growth and was becoming increasingly concerned about the variety of systems that existed in all their business units. Further, some of these companies had Year 2000 issues or were on systems that would be out of support by the end of 1999.
The corporate office had not yet developed a large IT staff to deal with these problems. In fact, no one was dealing with them. Consequently, the business units were on their own to resolve these problems. Some were faring well while others were floundering. Management was also very involved in the acquisition process and did not want to dedicate too much time to uncover issues they were not in a position to resolve.
BCG performed two surveys of the business units to determine the systems in place at each business unit, how satisfied they were with it, to what extent they were prepared for the Year 2000 and other related IT questions. A committee was formed from representatives of the business units as well as two members of the corporate management team. The results were presented to the committee and an action plan prepared. The primary strategy recommended moving to some form of standardization but gradually so as not to take anything away from the business units. BCG was to address the high priority business units first and then gradually move the other business units toward the standard.
Management was made aware of the IT situation and issues that existed in their new business units. The committee was empowered to direct our efforts until a CIO could be identified and put in place. The organizations that had Year 2000 compliance issues have been substantially addressed. A committee and a manager are now in place to direct the overall corporate IT direction.
- Standardization is beneficial in many ways but the individual needs of separate business units should be considered and addressed.
- Survey methodology is a good way to collect and assimilate a large amount of information in a short time at a low cost. The surveys should be supported with a few confirming interviews in person.