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World Class IT: Why Businesses Succeed When IT Triumphs by Peter A. High

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4.1. Testing IT's Mettle

Initially, IT departments typically focused on cost-reduction activities at best, or on "enabling" projects in other departments; what IT did was not perceived, in itself, as enhancing revenue or reducing cost; it stood a degree or two removed from tangible value. From that perspective, it seems clear that a sales division, for instance, needed to be managed and monitored more closely than an IT department: a sales division had an actual, dollar promise on which to deliver, by which it could be judged. But several things have changed this general situation.

First, as technology became pervasive at almost every company, it was difficult to ignore its importance. Savvy competitors began to beat staid, old companies through ...

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