The attorney goes further, cautioning that participants install strong accounting and internal controls to prevent any members from filching funds. That's actually happened: Scott points to a group of insurance competitors who formed an organization to provide shared technology services only to discover missing money about eight months ago.
In the end, CIOs have to decide which, if any, IT activities could be shared or operated by another business in order to drive down operating costs and free up precious resources for more ground-breaking endeavors. "Do we want 100 people working on developing and maintaining a hotel reservation system?" asks Starwood's Thompson. "Or do we want 100 people focused on building innovative solutions for our company?"
Thomas Hoffman is a freelance writer based in New York.
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