NRI Papers
No.135 October 1, 2008
  Pragmatic Approach to IT-Based Management  
Koki YODOKAWA and Yukio OKOCHI
   Innovation is an essential element in a company's growth. In realizing such innovation, IT (information technology) often plays an important role, which is referred to as IT innovation in this paper. As the scope of IT applications expands, greater expectations are being given to IT innovation within a company. Actually, however, there are only a limited number of companies that consider that they have reached a satisfactory level of innovation, generating gaps between expectations and reality.
   To bridge these gaps, activities conducted by leading companies in other countries can provide suggestions. Under the concept that "we do not regard IT innovation as something yielded by chance," dedicated teams formed within these companies assume leading roles in establishing systematic processes to continuously generate IT innovation.
   In these systematic processes, "schemes" and "concepts" that are not seen in conventional approaches are incorporated. An example of such a novel scheme is activities to discover promising ideas sporadically lying within business operations departments, discuss such ideas directly with the chief information officer (CIO) and develop a project by considering such ideas from a company-wide perspective. In terms of concepts, there are unprecedented approaches in which a dedicated IT team strives to systematically elicit "ideas" that remain unnoticed within business operations departments.
   The first step that is necessary in establishing these systematic processes is to form a dedicated team that can concentrate on generating IT innovation, even if it consists of only a small number of members, through building up achievements and establishing methodology. After these steps are adopted, the number of employees who can promote IT innovation should be increased. Firm commitment on the part of the CIO and other management executives over a long period of time is indispensable for achieving these activities.
Contents
I IT Innovation: Expectations vs. Reality
II Bringing about IT Innovation by Systematic Processes
III Cases of IT Innovation in US Companies
IV Steps towards Developing Systematic Processes

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