How CIOs redesign their IT teams for new challenges

How three CIOs are restructuring to meet global business needs.

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Michael Del Priore, Church & Dwight



Of the many lessons from my previous experience leading global restructuring that I am applying now, the most important is: don't move faster than the organisation can.

When I came to Church & Dwight in August 2009, I found myself with an IT group that was functioning without a strategy or plan. To create a global structure and operating model, I had to move in a way that would mature the organisation, and not risk rejection by imposing changes in attitudes, processes and services internally and externally all at once. My senior team and I defined a new model for how IT will engage with our users and customers.

One key principle is to separate the support functions from the strategic ones. That is an end-state goal for our three-year plan; as long as they are blended, execution will overwhelm strategy. Including my entire team on fleshing this out was necessary to get them to think in an enterprise manner. After socialising it with key executives, I held an IT town hall to lay out the new environment, specific near term goals and the steps to transition.

Following through on those goals has been critical to gaining buy-in. We reached our first milestones at the beginning of April, when we restructured into the global model, outsourced our application maintenance and kicked off a global SAP implementation. Because we had been preparing for the transition for months, the day it took place was almost a nonevent.

Paul Martin, Rexam

We have been talking about moving Rexam away from being a decentralised IT environment with function-oriented IT organisations for several years now. We did tackle the back office, bringing together data centres and networks, but the front office was another matter. Touching the lifeblood of the business set a lot of people on edge. But with new company leadership and the changing economic environment came an objective to align business and IT into one common approach, leveraging best practices and the resulting efficiencies.

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