Tony Skipper, Chief Information Officer for AIG Property Casualty Americas IT at AIG Insurance, discussed ways that an organization’s IT can impact its culture during his presentation at the 2014 Chief Information Officer Leadership Forum in New York on Dec. 10. In his presentation, “Turning Your IT Mission into Your Culture,” Skipper noted it is important for today’s IT departments to engage with both internal and external constituents regularly and embrace an organization’s culture.
According to Skipper, working with an organization’s stakeholders to set realistic expectations is key. Devoting the necessary time and resources to learn about the importance of culture, Skipper said, also is critical for IT departments. If an IT department does not align its goals with those of its organization, Skipper noted, serious problems could develop: “You can be an organization where the business is very dynamic, very energetic, but the IT people are not. That just causes issues. That’s going to cause issues all day long. You have to find a way to bridge that gap, and sometimes a mission statement [and] operating principles help you bridge that gap.”
In addition, Skipper said IT departments need to understand an organization’s short- and long-term vision. By doing so, Skipper said, an IT department can align its vision with that of its organization and focus on ways to contribute to its organization’s success: “You also need to understand the vision of your organization. I am a big believer that an organization needs a single vision … You have an organizational vision statement and then you have to say how is your group going to support it? That’s where I think the mission comes in.”