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4-ways to start a strategic IT journey for your organization

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Technology is changing at an astronomical speed so IT function will continue to change over time as new technology/products hit the market, as the economy shifts and as business needs change. 100 years of our collective IT experience makes us believe that the IT function will continue to add tremendous value to your business.  All you need is to ensure these 4 steps:

 

  1. Be cautious about Cost-savings vs Value
    Operating margin is important and organizations must control costs to not hurt their profits however instead of focusing just on cost savings, consider what objectives and value your company is trying to deliver. Your business do not exist to save money but to deliver value. In the backdrop of fierce competition and changing business models, even the most cost-efficient companies will go bust if they don't deliver much value. You have live examples of businesses being rewritten by IT, what discussions are happening in your organization about exploiting the value of IT and securing your future? Is it seen as a strategic investment in your annual portfolio planning or still part of your operational budgeting?
  2. Focus on Innovation
    IT investment is an engine for Innovation and hence growth. It brings operational efficiency, hidden data to the forefront that helps in deciding which new products and services to be created, supports a great customer experience across sales and customer service -- all to raise customer loyalty and repeat business. When was the last time you discussed “What Innovation did IT offer to my business this year?”
  3. Ensure good IT Governance
    Organizations that lack effective governance suffer from low performance, heightened risk exposure, and resource allocation that may appear inappropriate, arbitrary, or political. IT governance determines how the IT function manages demand, delivers value, and protects against risk. There are many people, processes, and technologies that play a role in keeping IT running. The broad nature of IT governance can make it difficult for IT leaders to know where to focus their efforts to have the greatest impact. Are you having a discussion on “How IT can be used to ensure Business Governance?” in your organization? It takes long to ensure good IT Governance, you better start early.
  4. Find the right Partner
    If your organization is not ready for IT adoption then do you keep postponing your journey or you set a deadline and work backwards to find a partner who can do it for you? Your next step should be to find the right partner who can work with you to understand your business objectives and chart out a relevant IT Strategy Roadmap in line with your business goals and also work with you towards your people development to help them take care of this strategic function in your organization. It is doable.

Most of the organizations set caps for various business functions. This approach has little or nothing to do with delivering value and driving innovation, which are accomplished by optimizing investments, not by capping resources.  If IT is strategic to your business and business leaders set caps on it then they have to overcome this counterproductive approach to planning. Start to think about planning as the management of an investment portfolio aimed at delivering specific outcomes and benefits, rather than as the mere distribution of budget dollars to all functions/departments.

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Guest Monday, 21 August 2017

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