Ann All spoke with Jeanne Ross on the subject of what separates good companies from great companies, and one of those separations comes from how IT is treated. According to Ross, typical companies treat IT as an expense and sometimes a burden. In great companies, however, IT is leveraged as a strategic asset that can work to bring the company more money and better results throughout the business. All, at one point, asks Ross what all great companies had in common, and her response was as follows: It boils down to the things that are the same, but different. For example, at every one of those companies you can point to a leader who just said, “Here’s what we’re going to do, and how we’re going to do it.” At some companies, it was clearly the CEO, but not always. There were cases where the CIO articulated a plan of action and brought people on board. It is possible. A lot of CIOs start shrugging shoulders and say, “What do we do if the CEO isn’t leading this?” We’ve seen companies where people other than the CEO lead and make it work.Ross also takes a hard stance on how people use the word “governance” as an excuse to not make a singular decision. She explains how the proper gathering of metrics and having defined processes should make having a singular decision more easy to make, rather than having several committees and dozens of meetings.