An added business reward: The Latin America I T migration
created e;ciencies for Lenovo’s Idea product group and deployed
strategic sales tools globally. Plus, it created a better cost forecast
and pricing solution, Wang says.
It’s also worth noting that the Latin America migration was
just one of three major system releases in the past two years, all
of which were delivered on schedule and within budget. And
despite the cost of the large-scale transformation project, Wang
says Lenovo’s overall IT spending as a percentage of revenue had
dropped from 2.8% in 2008 to less than 1.5% in 2010.
Kraft Foods CIO Mark Dajani also relies heavily on
disciplined planning as one of his key risk management and
“Big changes require more upfront planning, contingency
planning and rehearsals,” he says. For example, throughout the
integration of Cadbury, which Kraft acquired in 2010, Dajani and
his team have had layers and layers of contingency plans in place
to address potential glitches.
“The big projects can be very expensive, and delay will cost a
lot of money and business disruption. When you think about what
could go wrong, planning for it is much easier ahead of time than at
go-live time, especially in the areas that impact customers,” he says.
One example: During a
system cutover in Europe
last summer, one of the
data feeds didn’t make it
to a central warehouse.
The negative impact
was minimal, however,
thanks to an in-place
contingency plan to
automatically ship 30%
more product to that
warehouse in the event of
Dajani says he also
relies on a finite group of
carefully chosen vendor
partners, which he has
incorporated into centers
One of his riskiest busi-
ness decisions was where and how to build and sta; Kraft’s shared
service centers, which house the services that are common across
all Kraft business units worldwide.
“The technology, the business processes harmonization and
the ever-consolidating world are really changing how we can
deliver services to our company,” Dajani says. “My biggest learn-
ing was that there is no perfect decision and that timing in this
changing world is not on your side. So, go ahead and make a
quality decision with an appropriate time frame, and be prepared
to adjust and change as you go,” he advises.
Continued from page 20
“There is no perfect decision,”
says Kraft CIO
Successfully working with trusted vendor partners also means “you
have to think beyond outsourcing,” Dajani says. “Our intention is
to make sure our supplier is successful as well. But I also demand a
From a decision-making
standpoint, speed forces you to be
crystal-clear on the priorities of
the organization. It’s that clarity
that helps us be faster.
lot. I have to work with them to change their old structure and not
just rub them o; for a dollar here and there.”
One of the most recent ecosystem collaborations is a private
cloud built for Kraft by HP. “I know the world is changing, and my
goal is for [our vendor partners] to be better at what they do and I
want to be the first customer,” he says. “I push them to innovate.”
Jim DiMarzio, CIO at Mazda North America Operations, says he
teams up with vendors to tap into skills the company doesn’t have
in-house. For example, “we found a vendor to help us on an iPad ap-
plication project because we had no skills with iPads,” he says.
GlaxoSmithKline’s Touey also believes in the power of partner-
ships, but his strategy is to stick with only the largest vendors.
Prior to the transformation launch at GSK, “we had a culture
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