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World Class IT: Why Businesses Succeed When IT Triumphs [Kindle Edition]

Peter A. High
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

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Book Description

World Class IT

Why Businesses Succeed When IT Triumphs

Peter A. High

Foreword by John Boushy, former CIO of Harrah's Entertainment and former CEO of Ameristar Casinos

Praise for World Class IT

"Technology and business leaders alike must understand how to use IT to their advantage. Today, all businesses are technology companies powered by people; it is simply a question of degree. Failure to understand this and to harness technology to a company's advantage will result in one's company being a follower in an industry as opposed to a shaper of it. In World Class IT, Peter High distills the key principles for business and IT leaders to follow to ensure that your company is a leader rather than a laggard."
—Robert Willett, CEO, Best Buy International

"World Class IT taps the experience and advice of the world's greatest thinkers in corporate technology and marries it with a simple, yet powerful working framework. Peter's access to the best-of-the-best CIOs and his ability to boil their learnings down to the essentials is invaluable."
—Gregor Bailar, former chief information officer, Capital One, and former chief information officer, NASDAQ

"Peter High has made a valuable, highly practical, and rigorous contribution to principles-based IT resource management. Peter has observed accomplished CIOs transforming IT management in their organizations from narrow 'spectator support' for their senior management teams to a 'participative sport' resulting in a strategic IT asset. This is an important read for CIOs and their IT management teams."
—Richard Nolan, the Philip M. Condit Endowed Chair in Business Administration at the University of Washington, Foster School of Business, and the William Barclay Harding Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School (emeritus)

"Peter High has uncovered and illuminated important principles that are relevant to any IT executive. We find that many of our most successful IT strategies are reflected in his framework, and I certainly learned from his research, as well."
—Randy Spratt, executive vice president, chief information officer, and chief technology officer, McKesson

"Following the principles and subprinciples of World Class IT offers invaluable insights and will improve performance no matter the company."
—Tim Harvey, former executive vice president of shared services and chief information officer, Hilton Hotels Corporation

Editorial Reviews


Chosen as third among "The Best IT Business Books of 2009." 
CIO Insight

"What’s unique about this book is that it’s not only a must-read for the CIO (and everyone else in an IT department); it’s for anyone associated with the technology industry. If you are a manufacturer, seller, or service provider of technology, you will gain insight into what makes an IT department world class."
CIO Digest

"The new book World Class IT (Jossey-Bass, 2009), by consultant Peter A. High, provides solid, timeless advice for CIOs trying to manage IT for business success."
— Mitch Betts, ComputerWorld Book Review

From the Inside Flap

Technology is all around us. It is so pervasive in our daily lives that we may not even recognize when we interact with it. Despite this fact, many companies have yet to leverage information technology as a strategic weapon.

What then is an information technology executive to do in order to raise the prominence of his or her department? In World Class IT, recognized expert in IT strategy Peter High reveals the essential principles IT executives must follow and the order in which they should follow them whether they are at the helm of a high-performing department or one in need of great improvement.

  • Principle 1: Recruit, train, and retain World Class IT people

  • Principle 2: Build and maintain a robust IT infrastructure

  • Principle 3: Manage projects and portfolios effectively

  • Principle 4: Ensure partnerships within the IT department and with the business

  • Principle 5: Develop a collaborative relationship with external partners

The principles and associated subprinciples and metrics introduced in World Class IT have been used by IT and business executives alike at many Global 1000 companies to monitor and improve IT's performance. Those principles pertain as much to the leaders of IT as they do to those striving to emulate them.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1601 KB
  • Print Length: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (October 27, 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002V0915W
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #107,528 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
The author points to a common feature of many firms - a gap between an IT department and the rest of the firm. Not just at the executive suite, but also extending several layers down in management. One typical reason is that IT management often hails from an engineering or scientific background, while non-IT management comes from a financial, business or legal background. The book tries to bridge the gap by furnishing a few best practices.

One that I found especially cogent was a tighter partnership between IT and the other departments. Often the latter might simply not be aware of what IT can do for them. Ignorance can be cured! Another advantage of this stronger coupling is that it helps IT protect portions of its budget during regular reviews, when other departments can come into bat for it.

The book also talks about infrastructure. This can be considered a factorisation of the narrative, so that it cleaves cleanly between discussing infrastructure and the other uses and activities of the IT department. Regarding the former, the author has found that many firms simply neglect it. When infrastructure is working, it is usually meant to be invisible, and hence the tendency to overlook and underfund its maintenance. The book advocates a more proactive approach that can ultimately improve the overall firm's performance and adaptability.

You can also choose to use this factorisation in a pragmatic way. It is difficult and hence risky to try to change too many things in the firm at the same time. An alternative is to perhaps build up the infrastructure using the book's recommendations. Then, if this is successful, you can turn to the other sections of the book about the IT department.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best EVER book on how to manage IT successfully! April 28, 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Ok... this has to be the best, cleanest roadmap to building a world-class IT department I've ever seen. It comprehensively covers EVERYTHING. I'm taking this with me as my "bible" wherever I go.

Brilliant book, simply brilliant - a must -read for senior IT and non-IT executives alike, if they want to learn how to make the most of their IT!!

No doubt, I'm going to use this book as a practical guideline... and no doubt, I'm going to recommend it to all my management team members in IT, and possibly my peers as well.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Vision fo IT April 28, 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I found Peter High's World Class IT book and downloaded it on my Kindle while I was vacationing over Christmas 2009. Once I started reading the book, I knew Peter High was on to an approach that made so much "common IT sense" and finished the book the next day. Having been a consultant and CIO for over 40 years, I recognized the 5 principles and 30+ sub-principles were an approach around which I could get synergy and energy in an organization I had joined earlier in 2009. Our IT team, the executive team, and the business were already working on many of the sub-principles, but now I had a framework that pulled together many disparate initiatives and provided a method to evaluate our progress. We now had a rallying point and a vision for the future - become a World Class IT organization over the next three to five years. I also have shared the book with over 30 people including or IT team, executives, our Priority Council, and some of our vendors.

Don't expect to read a lot about current technologies. Do expect to read about concepts and ideas that can make an immediate difference in the value IT brings to any organization.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars World Class Roadmap September 27, 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I am a technology manager for a misized manufacturing company. I have been working in Information Technology for 20 years and have taught IT management for graduate students.

This book quite simply encompases world class business practices and translates them into the language of the CIO. The book is easy to read and contains real world examples, practical guides, metrics and steps towards moving an IT organization to be best in class.

This book is not about bits and bytes. It is not about the "bleeding edge" of technology. It is about the business of running and IT department and running it well. Thank you Peter for this excellent guide who's priciples my company will be adopting wholeheartedly.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Important piece of the puzzle... June 29, 2010
I had the pleasure of meeting the author prior to reading this book and was able to receive a nice primer as to the purpose of the work and a little background as to what went in to writing it. By the time I completed the book, I was already back at the beginning preparing to read it again. What a wonderful read! I keep only a handful of books in my office as reference material since I am not a believer of stocking my shelves with my reading accomplishments. I can tell you that this is one of the few that I actually keep on my desk with the pages folded at the corners and post-it notes everywhere. I have been able to successfully apply many of the practices prescribed already and plan on continuing to utilize this book as my department expands and matures. It has been an invaluable resource and has definitely enlightened my thinking. It is very straight-forward and provides practical solutions to what many technology executives struggle with daily. I highly recommend this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I love this book! I've been leading IT organizations and departments for years and wish I had read this 20 years ago. Business leaders and IT leaders alike will benefit from this book.

A very easy read, I couldn't put it down and finished it in 2 days. Usually, I give up reading IT books which are often boring, difficult and rehash the same old stuff. The author made this book interesting, practical and shares fantastic insight for all levels of leadership.

It is like getting enormously valuable consulting for the cost of the book. I read on my kindle and I have highlights and notes all over the place!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I liked it
Well, some parts are questionable, but as a whole - good book
Published 2 months ago by Alexey Trofimov
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A must have on any IT Manager's bookshelf!
Published 3 months ago by A. Charity
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book!
Every CIO and every CEO should read this book. It's principles and sub principles seems too obvious, but gives order to a very complex department like IT.
Published 4 months ago by Adrian
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Framework & Principles
Peter's book does an excellent job of framing the pillars of high performance IT organizations. IT leaders can leverage the concepts to dive into their own organizations and take a... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Joe Topinka
4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read! Truly great
Very useful summary of what you need to focus on as an IT department striving for excellence for your company. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Linus Nyman
3.0 out of 5 stars Not much new or original
A repeat of fundamental principles. We know where we need to go we just don't have the ability to get there... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Jody Howard
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best CIO must reads!
What's interesting about Peter's book, is that I read it in 2013 (almost four years after publication). Read more
Published 17 months ago by Richie Etwaru
5.0 out of 5 stars Key reading on IT fundamentals
Business ROI is a complex challenge that requires executive leadership to be effective. The ability of technology to envision, enable and support these challenges is virtually... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Arthur Worster
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written
This books summarizes everything a person starting in IT or mid-career needs to know. More experienced people will already know the key information, but the question is whether... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Jana M
5.0 out of 5 stars World Class Information
I met Peter High early one winter morning at a local Hotel in downtown Toronto as he moderated a CIO panel on Innovation. Read more
Published on November 4, 2011 by Horace McPherson
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More About the Author

Peter is the president of Metis Strategy, a firm he founded in 2001. He is an expert in business and information technology strategy, and he has been a trusted advisor to a wide array of business and tech executives ranging across Fortune 500 companies in various industries. Peter has developed several strategic methodologies that he and his firm have taught clients to use on their own in order to develop and update strategic plans, choose and manage the right portfolio of projects, and to ensure that team performance is on the path to world class levels.

In December of 2009, Wiley Press/Jossey-Bass published Peter's book World Class IT: Why Businesses Succeed When IT Triumphs, which was named the third best IT book of 2009 by CIO Insight, and the number one book to read to "be smarter than your boss," according to Baseline Magazine, among other accolades. Upon publication in China in late 2010, it climbed into the top-50 business books sold in that market

Since 2008, Peter has moderated a widely listened to podcast entitled "The Forum on World Class IT," which is available through iTunes on a biweekly basis. He writes the Technovation column in Forbes, and he is a regular contributor to CIO Insight. He has also written for the Wall Street Journal, CIO Magazine, CIO Digest, Information Week, and On Magazine, and has been interviewed and featured in many other periodicals in the US, Canada, Australia, and China.

Peter has been the keynote speaker at a wide array of corporate conferences in the US, Canada, China, India, and Australia, and he has lectured at several universities including Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business, the University of Washington (Seattle) Foster School of Business, the University of Maryland's Smith School of Business, Virginia Commonwealth University's School of Business, Purdue University, and the National Defense University.

Prior to founding Metis Strategy, Peter worked in the strategy division of Luminant Worldwide, a full service consulting firm, as a member of the management team. He began his career in consulting with Integral, Inc., an innovation management firm founded by the former dean of Harvard Business School, Kim Clark. Prior to Integral, Peter worked as an internal consultant with General Motors and as a research analyst with the Federal Reserve Bank.

Peter graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with degrees in economics and history. He lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland, with his wife and their two sons. He can be reached at peter.high [at]


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