Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Ten Perspectives upon IT Transformation

IT transformation is on the horizon to improve IT maturity.

Transformation sounds a bit both ambitious and ambiguous, it could mean many things. IT Transformation is one of the current "in vogue" terms.  What does "IT Transformation" mean in your business though?

  1. IT Transformation is about WHY & WHAT: Why is IT still critical in the organization in the era of Cloud? And what’s the service & culture IT needs to build on?  Should IT take the adoption of a customer service culture and positioning  IT shop as the internal consultant of choice, versus available consulting or advisory services. In other words, would IT get the job if the business had a choice? 
  1. IT Transformation seeks to change. The word "transformation" in itself means change and change for the better - new ways and methods of doing things, new structures, new relationships, etc. There are changes in two shapes: One is internal where IT transforms and the Second where IT helps transform or change the business in line with new strategic imperatives. So the challenges would depend on whether the focus is in the former or latter. 
  1. IT Transformation is driven by Transformational CIOs: A well respected and business savvy CIO can drive organizational change with effective organizational design and dot-connecting innovation. In recent years, it feels that IT has lost its way and it needs the transformational leaders to transform and get IT back on track. 
  1. IT Transformation has a long-range strategy: IT transformation is a significant part of the business transformation, IT becomes change drivers & strategy enabler for business to unleash its full potential, from built to last and good to great, thus, IT strategy is sub-component of business strategy, IT transformation is synchronizing with business transformation. 
  1. IT Transformation is on the horizon to improve IT maturity: The paradigm shift from IT being a reactive, engine room culture to one that is agile and develops the capabilities to drive business growth and perpetual improvement. It might include things like portfolio rationalization, enterprise architecture roadmaps, operational reliability metrics/dashboard, and human capital management strategy. IT continues to reach a higher level of maturity. 
  1. IT Transformation focuses on the goals of innovation. IT transformation means rationalizing the current IT department and planning to partner with the business to provide service & solutions in new ways. A transformation might need work cross boxes instead of within the box. IT transformation means doing more with innovation, transparency, and discipline. 
  1. IT Transformation leverages business “core capabilities”: Transformation is strategic organizational alignment leveraging "core capabilities" to achieve business goals with clear ownership and accountability at all levels. Transformation is simply a popular battle cry of change agents (leadership, business case, habit, etc.) to fix a supposed or real problem with the current state of an IT area or department. Transformations are generally associated with high-cost projects around risk, availability, business enablement, or sourcing. The key driver is often dissatisfaction with current IT performance or cost. IT needs to build up a new set of core capabilities in transforming itself and business as a whole. 
  1. IT Transformation is the journey to pursue business agility: To enable operational excellence, new service/product innovation, customer experience optimization, and employee satisfaction, which are four pillars in building a high-performance enterprise and the ultimate goal for the transformation.  
  1. IT Transformation means doing the “Right” things: A transformation needs strategic guidelines & policy. It takes greater transparency, trust, and collaboration leveraging repeatable process, expectation management and support from C-Level peers and buy-in from staff is also equally important. 
  1. IT Transformation is an integral part of the business transformation. In short, it means (whatever the driver) understanding the "As is" position of the business and the role IT plays in it, and identifying the desirable "To be" state. The next step is to build and execute a strategy and the associated change programs that enable the "To be" state to be achieved, and a set of processes and activities that keep it dynamic. 
Thus, to manage a successful transformation journey, business/IT should set up clear strategy and guidelines, depending on the driver, it may be a discreet change of the way IT operates, or it could be part of a wider business transformation. Either way, it is important that the opportunity is not squandered, and that maximum benefit is derived from the business. 


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