MIT luminaries to address Wellington IT execs

Two prominent MIT research scientists will help NZ businesses assess their 'IT savvyness'

Two prominent MIT research scientists will give a presentation to senior business and IT executives in Wellington in February on the need for organisations to make IT a strategic asset.

Peter Weill is the chairman of the Boston MIT Sloan Center for Information Systems Research and the co-author of books on strategic IT topics, including IT Savvy, IT Governance and Enterprise Architecture as Strategy.

Weill is ranked number 24 in the “Top 100 Most Influential People in IT” by Ziff-Davis. He joined MIT in 2000 as director of the Sloan Center for IS Research, which is funded by 70 corporate sponsors and patrons, and undertakes practical research on how firms generate business value from IT. Now as chairman, he is focused on globalising the centre’s research and delivery.

He will be accompanied by fellow MIT research scientist Peter Reynolds, a former senior executive and chief technology officer in several Australian corporates, including the Commonwealth Bank. Reynolds won the top international award for best doctoral dissertation on information systems for 2010 with a thesis entitled “Aligning Business and IT Strategy in Multi-business Organisations”.

The visit has been organised by Equinox IT consulting director Julian Downs, who has previously attended seminars at MIT.

Downs says MIT research shows that those companies that make IT a strategic asset generate 20 percent higher profits than their competitors.

“We will discuss how to fix what is broken – typically the funding model and governance, how to create a reusable digital platform, and exploiting the digitised platform for profitable growth,” he says.

“Each participant will be invited to self-assess their firm’s IT savvyness, benchmarking their firm against the MIT data.”

The invitation-only event is scheduled to take place on Wednesday February 15.

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