Breakthrough IT: Supercharging Organizational Value Through Technology


We live in one of the most interesting times in the history ofthe corporate Information Technology organization. The function ofIT in today's organizations is no longer limited to providing acommodity service at the lowest possible cost and the CIO can nolonger be seen simply as a "technologist." IT in the twenty-firstcentury is all about helping your company execute on its strategicobjectives, with the CIO playing a more proactive role in focusingIT's efforts on deliver-ing ...

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We live in one of the most interesting times in the history ofthe corporate Information Technology organization. The function ofIT in today's organizations is no longer limited to providing acommodity service at the lowest possible cost and the CIO can nolonger be seen simply as a "technologist." IT in the twenty-firstcentury is all about helping your company execute on its strategicobjectives, with the CIO playing a more proactive role in focusingIT's efforts on deliver-ing strategy.

A revolutionary book providing a step-by-step methodology forcreating a value-based IT organization, Breakthrough IT details themultidisciplined approach companies must take to considering,selecting, and delivering large IT projects that generate maximumreturn on investment.

Filled with case studies, analysis, and commentary illustratingboth successful and failed projects, as well as severalenlightening interviews with leading C-suite executives in variousstages of implementing Breakthrough IT in their own companies,readers will learn how IT is being used in various organizationsand will gain insight from the front line across multipleindustries, company sizes, and continents.

Combining several disciplines with the goal of making IT servebusiness objectives rather than provide and service tools,Breakthrough IT:

  • Reveals how IT should deliver and execute business strategy, andnot just provide a portfolio of commodity services
  • Provides a methodology for transitioning IT from the old way ofdoing business into a Breakthrough IT organization
  • Explores how the CIO can be the primary person responsible forinstituting process change, rather than a mere keeper oftechnology
  • Provides guidelines for the CEO and CIO to move theirrelationship from one of customer and vendor, to one of partners infueling business growth
  • Spells out the critical roles of the CEO and CIO in drivingchange
  • Shows CIOs how to develop process expertise within theirorganization

With useful action points and an executive sum-mary at the endof each chapter, Breakthrough IT contains concrete steps you canbegin taking in your organization to transform its IT function intoa true Breakthrough IT shop. Guide your IT organization from anengineering, "utility-based," internal provider to a BreakthroughIT organization, capable of delivering predictable and measurablereturns on IT investment. Equip your company to break through withBreakthrough IT.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Patrick Gray has done a very commendable job of delineating the evolution of information technology's (IT's) role: basic history, and the roadmap for supercharging the value of IT to the enterprise. It has robust content and the chapter material is well-conceived and logically sequenced. Breakthrough IT is a valuable read that should be kept handy." (New Jersey CPA, May/June 2008)

"examines what it means to be living in an era of corporate information technology and the step-by-step methodology required to create a value-based IT organization." (, February 2008)

"IT today is being squeezed by a "Triple Threat" Gray does a nice job of describing." (; 11/2/07)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470124840
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 11/2/2007
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.34 (w) x 9.29 (h) x 0.91 (d)

Meet the Author

Patrick Gray is the founder and President of the Prevoyance Group Inc., a company that focuses on providing IT strategy consulting, with past clients including Gillette, Pitney Bowes, OfficeMax, and several other Fortune 500 and 1000 companies. His recent work has focused on international projects, and he has led implementations for foreign subsidiaries of several U.S. companies. He has published several articles and has been quoted numerous times in major publications such as the New York Times, InfoWorld, Project Manager Today, CIO India, American Way, and Business 2.0.

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Table of Contents


1. Hell Freezes Over: IT Becomes a Key Component of YourOrganizational Strategy.

Why do you Need Breakthrough IT?

The Triple Threat.

Hell Freezes Over: IT Enables Strategy.

2. Up Periscope! Ending The Focus On Continuing Operations.

A Brief History of IT.

Shifting the Focus: Moving IT from Service Provider to StrategicAsset.

Calling Sherlock Holmes: Finding Continuing Operations.

Changing the Source: What to Do with Continuing Operations.

3. ET Phone Home: Stop Talking IT and Start TalkingStrategy.

Free at Last.

Separating Process from Technology.

Where the Rubber Meets the Road: Partnering with the CEO.

Talking the Talk.

C-Suite Conversations: Greg Buoncontri, CIO of Pitney Bowes.

4. Clear the Benches: Take Your IT Shop From Dysfunction toDynamo.

Hiring (and Firing) the Right People.

Continually Improving the Skills of your People.

Meaningfully Evaluating Your People.

5. Milking the Cow: Turn Your IT Project Portfolio into a CashCow.

Developing a Project Investment Mix.

The PASRBRTKO: Project Analyzing, Selecting, Risk-assessing,Budgeting, Returns Tracking and Killing Office.

What the PMO is NOT.

6. Show Me the Money: Controlling a Project by the Numbers.

The Right Stuff: Determining What to Measure.

Managing to the Metrics.

Beyond the Numbers: The "Gut Check".

Delivering the Goods.

7. Pushing Water Uphill: Driving Organizational Change from theC-Suite.

What is "Change Management".

The Role of the CIO in Change Management.

The Role of the CEO in Change Management.

Change Management at the Line Level.

Influencing Change 101.

The End of Business as Usual.

C-Suite Conversations: Bridget Reiss and Kathy Allen, CIO andCFO of Millipore Corporation.

8. Cashing In The Chips: When To Cancel A Project.

My Little Runaway.

The Project Killers.

Setting Failure Criteria.

When the Going Gets Tough — Warning signs.

Broaching the Topic of Cancellation.

Cancelling Well.

Closing Time.

9. Be Superman (Or Wonder Woman): Coming In Late To A StrugglingShop.

Arriving on the Scene.

Tackling the Project Portfolio.

Turning the Wheel: Making the Leap to Breakthrough IT.

C-Suite Conversations: Phil Stunt, Vice President, ITInternational, CA.

10. Capitalizing on Success.

Building Momentum.

Beyond Breakthrough IT.

The Future of the CIO Role.

In Closing.


Chapter Ten Executive Summary.

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