Delivering on the promise of information technology

Tuesday 18 November 2008


  • Dr Paul Stevens, former VP, UK Pharmaceuticals Information Technology, GlaxoSmithKline.
  • John Thorp, author of The Information Paradox and Chair of ITGI's Val IT Team.


The delivery of value from investments in IT is not a technology issue - it is a business issue - which if not addressed, poses significant risk to the sustainability of many enterprises. Few enterprises understand, let alone have a structured approach to deal with this challenge. Most enterprises that do have an approach focus on the operational aspects of IT - not business value. Our two speakers focussed on business value creation.

Following the merger to create GSK, the UK adopted a different approach to IT. Under Paul Stevens’ leadership in aligning IT with the business, this resulted in:

  • IT being recognised as contributing to a large increase in sales;
  • the cost of IT reduced by 75% -many systems were removed or streamlined;
  • IT recognised as integral to GSK’s business - a real partner;
  • IT people feel that they are part of business decisions and direction and can make a real difference - in Paul’s words “they are not just techies”.

Paul explained how this was all achieved. Examples of key challenges he faced were:

  • How can we ensure that we have great people, doing what they do best and able to realise their full potential?
  • How can we continue to reduce the unit cost of IT?
  • How can we embed our new IT processes?
  • How can we get GSK UK Pharmaceuticals to exploit IT for top line growth?

John Thorp discussed the challenge of value and introduce the IT Governance Institute’s freely downloadable Val IT framework which is linked to CobiT. Val IT provides the first comprehensive framework - one based on proven practices - that focuses on business value and facilitates collaboration between business and IT.

Val IT 2.0 released in July 2008, significantly enhances the capabilities of Val IT. It provides greater clarity on the roles, responsibilities and accountabilities of the board, executive, business and IT management and supporting goals and metrics as well as maturity models.

John also discussed the constraints to getting the business appropriately engaged in effective value creation and how Val IT 2.0 helps with its Getting Started Guide.

Dr Paul Stevens' presentation (PDF)
John Thorp's presentation (PDF)

Watch the video of this event