Can GM's IT transformation initiative succeed?

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General Motors' IT operations are undergoing a fast-paced transformation under the leadership of CIO Randy Mott, and InformationWeek's Chris Murphy is keeping close tabs on it. In an intriguing look at the major challenges of the transformation, Murphy considers five big questions, some of which were supplied by people who worked at other organizations--such as HP--where Mott pursued similar transformations in the past.

The IT transformation strategy at GM is multi-faceted and risky, involving massive insourcing, data center consolidation and application consolidation. It demands extensive change--operational and cultural--of both the IT group and the entire company, Murphy notes. Will it be possible to maintain IT performance as data centers and applications are cut, or will the systems suffer under the strain? Can the company find a way to effectively leverage its data? Will Mott's initiative, particularly his emphasis on cost-benefit analysis and ROI, be viewed as a bloated exercise in bureaucracy?

Perhaps most importantly, will GM be able to hire sufficient IT talent to move from a 90 percent outsourced operation to a 90 percent in-house operation? The company has to find hundreds, and maybe thousands, of new employees while recrafting the IT regime, Murphy points out. Leading this kind of cultural change is risky and time-consuming. To succeed, he says, Mott will have to rally the workforce behind his cause--a change management challenge indeed.

For more:
- see Chris Murphy's article at InformationWeek

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