| | JUNE-JULY 201719grow and adapt to a changing industry and regulatory environment. The last major challenge is building a workforce to successfully implement the new systems and then effectively support them. This meant developing a better understanding of our employees and their needs which would change over time.So, how do you align stakeholders and decide what investments to make? There are only so many dollars, so you better have good working relationships with your business partners to make sure those dollars are spent on the right thing.There will never be enough resources to do all the things that everyone wants to do. Organizations are always faced with tough decisions, and in the past, decision makers had to draw the line between winners and losers. We don't want winners and losers; we want open dialogue on the best use of funds and smart decisions that move our business forward.To that end, we have modified our business planning processes and centralized all technology budgets under the CIO cost center. Each year, IT partners with the Performance Management organization to facilitate cross-functional planning sessions with all business units. This helps IT better understand the business strategies and initiatives, and align investment plans with business need. Planning together helps us make better decisions and avoid duplicative technology investments. To better manage our spend throughout the year, all technology purchases must start with our Strategic Sourcing group who then engages all the right stakeholders to validate the budget, business plan, vendor selection method and contract terms. If an unplanned, unfunded purchase is initiated, we work as a team to agree to stop it until it can be prioritized against current plans and either adjust plans to accommodate it, or, defer it to the next annual planning process. This approach also has the added benefit of ensuring there aren't any "rogue", unsupported applications in our environment. This has become ever more important as cyber security risks have escalated. How are you approaching technology selection?Historically, our approach was best of breed solutions and then figure out how to integrate them. We installed them in a traditional IT waterfall project approach. The result was that we really
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