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Harvard Business Review on Aligning Technology with Strategy by Harvard Business Review

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Six IT Decisions Your IT People Shouldn’t Make

by Jeanne W. Ross and Peter Weill

FOR SEVERAL YEARS NOW, we have observed the frustration—sometimes even exasperation—that many business executives feel toward information technology and their IT departments. Our center runs a seminar called “IT for the Non-IT Executive,” and the refrain among the more than 1,000 senior managers who have taken the course runs something like this: “What can I do? I don’t understand IT well enough to manage it in detail. And my IT people—although they work hard—don’t seem to understand the very real business problems I face.”

Perhaps the complaint we hear most frequently from the executives—most of them CEOs, COOs, CFOs, or other high-ranking officers—is that they ...

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