1. I would characterize the IT governance model as one that has place the focus on enterprisewide solutions, while still remaining agile enough to fund smaller, more custom, projects. The goal of Cisco’s IT governance model (BPOC) is to create one unified IT infrastructure that has the capacity to support long term solutions (i.e. Oracle) while still being responsive enough to business unit demands to be able to invest in those areas. The IT governance model has created a central body that has assumed responsibility for the IT investments (even though the BPOC does not fund products, it is clear that without their approval projects stand little chance) and this committee has also done a good job of creating collaboration and alignment between the business units and the IT investments.
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3. I think that Cisco is positioned better for the future with this new model. In the Weill, Subramani, and Broadbent paper the authors state that “new research indicates that getting the IT-infrastructure balance right requires collaboration by the heads of business lines and IT professionals.” The BPOC appears to be right in line with this statement, and when that is combined with the way that Cisco’s employees are already used to reporting to multiple business functions through direct and “dotted-line” relationships then you have a system set up so that business unit leaders can collaborate to determine which projects may affect the entire business. In the technology sector, time to market can be a determining factor in success; again in the Weill, Subramani, and Broadbent paper the authors state that centralizing IT activities can enable companies to take advantage of economies of scale as well as shared development capability and faster time to market.
4. I think that Boston implemented is system in a well thought out, and difficult to argue against fashion. By researching where there were redundancies, and getting input from business unit leaders about their biggest problems he was able to create a system where he could consolidate many of the IT activities all while focusing on the projects that would affect the greats number of managers. In doing so, he took the Cisco system from a feudal system into more of a federal system. The creation of the BPOC was the driving factor in creating cross functional responsibilities for IT investments. In the Weill and Ross paper, the authors state that “senior management awareness of IT governance is the single best indicator of its effectiveness.” The BPOC brings together senior level executives twice a month, and establishes a level of legitimacy to the program.