The evolution of the corporate IT function and the role of the CIO at Texaco

Rudy Hirschheim, Jaana Porra, Michael S. Parks
2003 ACM SIGMIS Database the DATABASE for Advances in Information Systems  
While senior management's confidence in the IT function and the CIO appears to be at an all time low , the field's understanding of why this condition exists is still confused. This paper suggests that the problem lies in how perceptions about IT are formed. To this end, the paper briefly looks at the growth and evolution of the corporate IT department at the oil giant Texaco, Inc. The analysis paints a somewhat disturbing picture of a top performing IT organization, intimately responsible for
more » ... he success of the corporation, yet being perceived by much of senior management as an overhead that was costly and ineffective. The paper suggests some reasons as to why such perceptions might have come about, and what lessons the field can learn from what happened at Texaco. It is our belief that through such historical analyses, like the one performed at Texaco, a richer and broader understanding of the nature of organizational IT units is possible. These analyses shed light on the root causes for why IT is often perceived negatively. We suggest that IT organizations might change these perceptions by partnering with business units to share the credit for successful implementations and managing the perceptions about IT's contribution.
doi:10.1145/957758.957762 fatcat:ncke2ehp5vcaphb6mml6zuyv6m