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Cutter’s Business Technology & Digital Transformation Experts Have Helped these Organizations Succeed

Here's a peek into some of the Success Stories Cutter clients have enjoyed. Find out how Cutter can help you, too.

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Create Business and Enterprise Architecture Vision and Road Map

The IT infrastructure for a student loan corporation had grown into a hodge-podge of different platforms, systems, and integration. In addition to the high cost of maintenance and unnecessary complexity, the corporation was not able to keep pace with the changes in the industry. Working with the Executive Committee and business and IT leaders, Cutter developed a business-driven Business and Enterprise Architecture, including high-level business, information, application, and technology architectures and developed a roadmap for transitioning the technology, architecture, and organization from the current situation to the target future state. The corporation is currently in the first phases of implementation of the roadmap.

Determine how global consumer product firms extract value from IT

For this engagement, the client, a systems integrator, requested custom research exploring the role of IT for global firms that manufacture, market, and move around perishable consumer products. The Cutter team examined the way companies extract value from IT in the context of globalization, specifically the extent to which IT can provide competitive advantage, the role of IT in global logistics and transportation, and the role of IT in support of product and service innovation processes. Cutter addressed questions of governance, as well as the importance of some supply chain elements in the IT initiatives of these kinds of companies. Cutter discussed and interpreted general trends that we observe in IT, and zeroed in on those that are especially relevant to a company in the perishable consumer products business. The Cutter report made use of Professor Rob Austin's and Professor Richard Nolan's research in the area of innovation, as well as looking at research on the role of IT in enterprise-level manufacturing, product design, and consumer goods. As part of its research effort, Cutter assessed the competitive importance of innovation and provided interpretations of the research findings based on our current work on how IT functions in corporate innovation processes.

Research Best Practices for Board-Level IT Governance

A leading think tank required state-of-the-art information on board-level oversight of IT. A team of Cutter experts developed and administered a questionnaire for senior executives (focusing on CIOs, CTOs, and CEOs) at key firms, investigating how companies handle IT risk management and governance, including the practical operation of IT Oversight Committees, the obstacles, and which practices have proven most effective. The survey examined the activities conducted by IT Oversight Committees and the support they receive from executives such as the CIO and CEO. Cutter's team then conducted in-depth interviews, in-person and by phone, with executives from the companies that had the most useful experiences to share. The final report contained the results and analysis of the survey and interviews, together with an extensive review of all recent case studies and literature on the topic. In addition, the Cutter team met with the client to discuss the results and field questions on best practices in IT governance and the monitoring of technology investments.

Conduct Organizational Assessment

This defense contractor required an organizational assessment of IT. Cutter's team performed a review that was holistic in its approach, examining not only processes, but also how work was being done, along with organizational and cultural issues. The assessment was designed to identify the most promising opportunities for change and to finesse change resistance, to be both a tremendous morale-builder and an extremely effective change mechanism. The engagement focused on interviews with representatives from all departments plus meetings with senior executives, concluding with a wrap-up session for all participants. The strategy session and a final report featured an action plan, delivering specific, high-level recommendations for realizing quick gains and effective improvements.

Devise IT Strategy and Plan

Cutter put together a custom, five-day Executive Education program, delivered in the style of business school executive education programs, for this global pharmaceutical firm. Drawing on business school faculty who are Cutter Fellows, and additional Cutter consultants, the program featured business cases that focused on key business issues, such as strategic planning and competitive strategy, and topical lectures on technology issues, for an audience of the firm’s top global executive leadership.

Cutter arranged for the week-long event to be held at conference facilities, where the management team also had hotel-style accommodations and meals. This allowed the group to meet during the evenings to work on "homework" assignments, such as preparing for case discussions in assigned teams.

Following this very successful program, Cutter was asked to facilitate a follow-up strategy session for the global team that would draw on what the team has learned during the executive education program. In preparation for facilitating the event, Cutter's IT strategy expert interviewed key participants individually by phone and collaborated with the CIO and Global IT team to plan the format, approach, and agenda for the sessions. Prior to facilitating the sessions, Cutter's expert participated in an advance day of team-building. Then, following the session, Cutter summarized the group's conclusions, combined them with our recommendations, and delivered a bulleted action plan to the client firm's IT executives.

Project Portfolio Management

For this engagement, Cutter's Senior Consultants created and implemented a state-wide project portfolio management process for all agencies in this State. The result is that the Governor and the heads of the state agencies now understand the value of their IT project portfolios and are able to track projects' progress to ensure they achieve their full value. The State's objectives included creating a standard prioritization and approval process to be used by each agency management team, a standard project status reporting process to manage each agency's ongoing projects, and a monthly prioritization and project status report. This report is given to the head of the agency, to a state-wide executive committee, and to the Governor's Office. Cutter's consultants planned the development and implementation project, provided training and planning exercises for the project team, and followed through the design, approval, and agency roll-out steps. By the end of the engagement, implementation was successful in the four largest agencies, with the plan to complete all agencies well underway. During the project, the Cutter team developed the basic tools and methodologies, developed the training materials, and conducted management team meetings with the four largest agencies.

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Strategic technology assessment and portfolio management

In this engagement (Phase 1), Cutter's Senior Consultants conducted a complete technology assessment for a regional full-service bank, covering the bank's corporate activities and lines of business (e.g., community-based branches, wealth management, credit card, and mortgage.) Cutter's assessments focused on the bank's strategic direction and addressed how well its current technology practices - infrastructure, applications, and organizations - were suited for supporting the current and future strategic directions. Cutter developed a complete portfolio management assessment process, and a thorough review of the existing applications and infrastructure services was done. Cutter's Senior Consultants presented their recommendations on the bank's IT organizations and technologies to the CIO, bank management and the Board.

Strategic IT planning, portfolio management, service-level agreements

In phase II of the engagement with a regional full-service bank, Cutter planned and supported the execution of the strategic recommendations that followed the strategic technology assessment (Phase I). This allowed the Board, the bank's Management Cutter consultants recommended plans and directions for development of key IT areas, resulting in the bank's development of a Strategic IT Plan covering all lines of business, service-level agreements with both technology providers and the bank's business units, governance practices including project portfolio management, and IT financial management including budgeting. For each area, Cutter consultants established the frameworks, conducted training sessions with bank personnel, and oversaw the initial implementation. Following the initial implementations, the bank further developed the plans and directions to be used going forward.

Enterprise-wide Portfolio Management and Assessment of the Complete IT Spend

This engagement covered the strategic value and performance assessment of the complete IT spend for a global energy services company. Cutter's Senior Consultants, who were engaged by the IT financial management team of this organization, created frameworks and oversaw the collection of information to develop a complete portfolio management framework for projects, applications, infrastructure services, user services, and management services, which together represented 100% of the company's IT spend. Cutter conducted sessions with business unit and IT unit managers to collect the assessment information, analyzed the data, and worked with the financial management teams to produce recommendations for applications, infrastructure services, user services, and projects in the current and subsequent budget cycles, and provided the CIO with a complete review of the overall spend for the company as a whole and for each of the key business units.

Project portfolio management and governance

Senior executives at this Fortune 100 energy company required effective cost containment and maintenance of no more than "flat" IT expenditures year-over-year. For this engagement, Cutter Senior Consultants designed and implemented a corporate-wide project portfolio assessment, ranking, and decision-making process to help meet this goal. Their frameworks focused on each project's strategic alignment, risk profile, and financial returns adjusted for uncertainty. The engagement included performing pilot implementations throughout the company, and working with the CIO and governance group to interpret results and make decisions, as well as working with project management and PMO groups to establish ongoing processes for continuing prioritization and review throughout the year.

Enterprise-wide Project Prioritization and Portfolio Management

The management team of this Fortune 100 financial services organization wanted an enterprise priority decision process for its very substantial projects, covering over 500 per year, many of them cropping up throughout the year. By applying their portfolio management frameworks and assessment processes, Cutter's Senior Consultants were able to provide the management team a complete assessment, ranking, and decision-making capabilities based on 1) enterprise-wide strategic alignment, 2) business-unit strategic alignment, 3) technical/strategic alignment, 4) technical risk, and 5) security risk. A pilot covering two business units - one line-of-business, one corporate area - was completed with integrated 1-n prioritization for the enterprise. The company was able to select a subset of factors for first-year implementation, with the capability of adding the other factors with experience.

Strategic IT planning

This regionally-dominant multi-business enterprise operates some forty separate lines of business, supported through a corporate shared IT service. Company management required a thorough business-driven Strategic IT Plan, linked to annual budgets and three-year budget forecasts. This engagement produced the planning frameworks, processes, training documentation and an initial pilot in four major lines-of-business. This was accomplished by applying our Strategic IT Planning frameworks, starting with business strategic intentions. During this engagement, Cutter Senior Consultants worked with a company-wide project team representing the largest business units. A pilot plan was produced for four of the largest business units, which was used as primary training exercises for the project team as a whole. The company then applied the complete process throughout all business units in folowing coming year.

Business-based project requirements

This nationally-dominant energy company's CIO wanted a strengthened project planning process to achieve strong business linkage. Cutter accomplished this by applying our project requirements frameworks, focused on supporting company and business unit strategic intentions. Cutter prioritization and portfolio management frameworks were applied to demonstrate business-based decision-making and prioritization. An extensive training workshop covered the key elements of business-based project requirements coupled with business-driven project prioritization.

Strategic technology assessment and portfolio management

This engagement provided the CEO and Board of a leading loan-servicing organization with a thorough IT organizational assessment, including governance process and application and infrastructure portfolio assessment. The resulting recommendations gave the CEO and Board direction for IT organizational development to meet future business requirements. To accomplish this, Cutter's Senior Consultants conducted a complete organization assessment focused on the company's strategic directions. It addressed how well the organization's current technology practices - infrastructure, applications, and organizations - were suited for supporting current and future strategic directions. Cutter developed a portfolio management assessment process, and conducted a thorough review of existing applications and infrastructure services. Cutter recommendations were delivered to the CEO and Board.