Gartner Research

Effective IT Organizations: Design Matters

Published: 01 July 2008

ID: G00160194

Analyst(s): Patrick Meehan, David Pack


Successful CIOs approach organizational design systematically, defining a need for change, understanding the impacts and executing a change management plan. Well-designed organizations endure changing business models and economic climates with minor modification.

Table Of Contents


Executive summary

  • Evaluate the current status of the IT organization
  • Design the new IT organization
  • Showcase IT effectiveness via structures, competencies and roles
  • Allow for continual, opportunistic change without reorganization

Evaluate the current status of the IT organization

  • The need for a full-blown reorganization cannot be determined from the org chart alone
  • The two levels short of a full-blown reorganization
  • A full-blown reorganization’s impact
  • The total cost of reorganizing

Design the new IT organization

  • Articulating IT’s role defines the design program
  • Sketching a macro-architectural view focuses organizational segments on supporting IT’s role
  • Align the demand side to mirror the appropriate business operational view

Showcase IT effectiveness via structures, competencies and roles

  • Internal IT structures should control costs without squelching innovation
  • Structures facing outward from IT manage demand and maximize IT’s contribution
  • Structures external to IT keep everyone honest

Allow for continual, opportunistic change without reorganization

  • The next-generation org chart
  • Evolutionary and opportunistic structures
  • Success indicators
  • Conclusion

Appendix: Case studies

  • Case Study: BankCo—Rebuilding the organization for efficiency
  • Case Study: Black & Decker HHI—IT organizational form following function
  • Case Study: CPR—Defining a new structure is easy; managing the change is hard
  • Case Study: DentalCo—Organizing for information and for change
  • Case Study: FinancialCo—Reorganizing to improve services and business relationships
  • Case Study: INPDAP—Creating business process change with IT reorganization
  • Case Study: MTR—Reorganizing and redefining a merged organization
  • Case Study: Pepperdine University—Prepping the IT org to get a seat at the table
  • Case Study: Posten AB—Big changes aren’t necessarily reflected on an org chart
  • Case Study: Providence Health Plans—Expeditious organizational remodeling for long-term evolution

Further reading

  • Gartner EXP reports
  • Gartner EXP HR reports
  • Core research

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