One key take-away from the “IT governance: Stop the pendulum!” reading is the importance of aligning IT system with the organization business. When the company is at global scale, every decision to govern its IT system generally means success and failure due to the sophisticated business environment. Therefore, the question to centralization or decentralization cannot be black and white but instead a shade of grey. Each system has their fair share of pros and cons; however, a system that marries them together could bring out surprisingly effective results. The hybrid model magnifies the benefits of the economy of scale while maintaining the agility and fast response to various market conditions. This might be the safest and least risky approach to establish the efficient and affective IT governance system. In reference to Wyeth case, there is a similar approach to centralize or decentralize its IT system to achieve optimum result in the pursuit of globalization. Wyeth has invested heavily in IT system to establish a regional support centers as well as a central governance system in order to control and ensure smooth integration between countries. This is critical in transforming the procedures and management process throughout the organization, as in particular departments such as financial services, supply chain, sales and marketing as well as the central system as a whole.
Question: What was the most important contribution of the IT organization on the globalization of Wyeth? Why? What was the second most important contribution?
Information System, as the enabler to transform Wyeth from a local player to a globalization organization, played an extremely role in the process. Aside from geographical and financial aspects, a global integrated corporation differentiates from a domestic, limited resources company by establishing a complete and effective system of information, knowledge flowing within the organization. In Wyeth case, we are able to observe how IT has delivered the promise to marry information system and its application with other functional departments and to allow managerial knowledge to effectively circulate among managers and employees in countries. In other words, the most important contribution of IT was to enhance and transform the culture of Wyeth, hence to create Wyeth’s global mindset from the old local thinking. It was a long, difficult and costly but fundamental process. We could point out some exceptional advantages IT has brought to the game at Wyeth such as supporting financial services, R&D, operations and supply chain system in the globalization process. The most important thing, as highlighted in the case, is the close culture of not sharing information experiences among affiliates has been turned around.
The changing shift within the organization, spearheaded by global IT’s strategic transformation, generated a necessary tools for Wyeth to finally manage the global operations in different countries and markets. As a pharmaceutical company, it is essential for Wyeth to accommodate local needs for each country while maintaining the integration and cohesion between them. The first step was to invest adequate resources and to build a dependable system of regional support centers to facilitate the operations with excellent quality. All the implemented programs, including but not limited to RSC, ERP and global data warehouse proved to successfully play a part in changing the business process within Wyeth and to prepare it on the embark to become a fully global organization.