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Knowlege Management: A Strategic Partnership Between Business and IT
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When: 11/5/2008
Where: Radisson Hotel Milwaukee West
2303 North Mayfair Road
Wauwatosa, Wisconsin 
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Speaker:  Dr. Linda M. Salchenberger

Dr. Linda M. Salchenberger is the James H. Keyes Dean of the College of Business Administration at Marquette University. She received her MBA and Ph.D. degrees from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. Most recently, she served as associate dean of academics at the School of Continuing Studies at Northwestern University. Prior to her role at Northwestern, she was the associate dean of the School of Business Administration at Loyola University Chicago where she was a professor of information systems. From 1998 to 2002, she was assistant vice president for academic affairs and faculty administration at Loyola. She founded the Center for Information Management and Technology in 1997.

Her areas of research and teaching include artificial intelligence and applications of neural networks, strategic alignment of business and information technology, and gender and information technology. She has worked with a number of global companies as an executive coach in strategic management and information technology as Vice President, Strategy and IT Alignment with Executive Synergies, Inc. and has worked with the business community on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) projects.

Summary:  Knowledge Management: A Strategic Partnership between Business and IT

In organizations that have achieved alignment between business and IT, CIO’s are viewed as strategic business partners and CEO’s and CIO’s have collaborated to create an organizational culture that typically includes the following characteristics.

  • The organization views the IT function as an enabler of business performance
  • The organization has effective IT/business relationships at levels below the CIO
  • IT employees have the knowledge and skills to communicate effectively in business terms
  • IT initiatives and plans are well-aligned with the overall organizational strategy
  • IT and business managers collaborate systematically

As a strategic business partner, IT is used in these organizations for competitive advantage in achieving the following business goals.

  • Reach new markets, audiences and channels
  • Improve external partnering capabilities
  • Launch innovative products and services
  • Enable internal collaboration
  • Enhance customer experience
  • Enhance quality of internal information
  • Increase process efficiency

In this presentation, we discuss an extension of this alignment to include knowledge management. Critical to the effective use of IT to support these competitive strategies is the creation, sharing, distribution, dissemination, and management of knowledge. Knowledge can no longer be contained within individual employees, functional areas, business units or even business organizations. An organization’s capacity to share knowledge among individuals and teams and even across the organization is viewed as a distinct competitive advantage is many industries. We will present cases in which organizations from a variety of industries created a culture of knowledge management to achieve long term, strategic business objectives through a strong partnership between the business and IT.


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