World Class IT: Why Businesses Succeed When IT Triumphs
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World Class IT

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.


Peter A. High is the founder and president of Metis Strategy, LLC, a business and information technology strategy consultancy founded in 2001. His experience lies in corporate strategy, business-unit strategy, information technology strategy, and all of the areas covered by the principles and subprinciples of World Class IT. Peter and his colleagues have implemented the World Class IT Methodology at many companies in a wide range of industries including financial services, insurance, business process outsourcing, retail, pharmaceuticals, health care, travel and transportation, and media.

Peter has lectured at a number of leading business schools, and he also hosts a widely heard podcast called "Metis Strategy's Forum on World Class IT." 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


Foreword, by John Boushy xi

The Author xvii

Acknowledgments xix

Introduction xxi

1. IT and Broader Company Vision 1

2. Principle 1: Recruit, Train, and Retain World Class IT People 15

3. Principle 2: Build and Maintain a Robust IT Infrastructure 35

4. Principle 3: Manage Projects and Portfolios Effectively 59

5. Principle 4: Ensure Partnerships within the IT Department and with the Business 97

6. Principle 5: Develop a Collaborative Relationship with External Partners 119

Conclusion 143

Notes 147

Bibliography 151

Index 155


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