Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Three “P” Factors in Achieving IT Performance Excellence

In most cases, no information & technology equals no business.

Digital technologies are often the disruptive force for innovation and exponential growth of information is the lifeblood of the digital organizations today. However, many IT organizations still get stuck in the reactive mode, keep the lights on, take orders from business users only, put little emphasis on driving business change or innovation. If this is the case, IT leadership, strategy, and capability need to be well aligned, and "business sentiment" needs to get put into something more tangible, such as, how to increase business profitability, improve productivity, and optimize processes in order to move up to the next level of IT maturity. Here are three “P” factors in achieving IT performance excellence.

Productivity: Improving productivity is a noble business goal behind running a digital IT organization. Business needs IT to deliver services/solutions that drive business productivity and effectiveness. This includes all aspects of the company, such as information management, logistics, application throughput, employee engagement, etc. The IT department provides guidance, support, assistance and direction in the application and adoption of information technology solutions in support of business objectives with speed. More specifically, from a workforce management perspective, how has technology increased the company’s productivity over the past "x" time frame? For example, easy of training - a new employee starts and technology should make it easy for the trainee to get quickly up to speed. IT can empower users with powerful technologies to improve their productivity and creativity. From an information management perspective, IT should provide the business with a platform to sustain, manage effectively with accurate and appropriate information whenever required, and also provide the business to explore/venture into new areas that'll provide value to the business.

Profitability: Business needs IT to provide better information to achieve improved profitability. IT provides a nervous system to the business, if intelligence built is poor or not managed in a proper way, it may lead to wrong decisions and hence drag down the speed of the business to maximize its potential. But if IT can capture the customer insight and business foresight to grasp the growth opportunities or prevent potential risks, the business would prosper and grow. It totally depends on a deep understanding of the business and implementing it by applying IT tools and techniques. The IT organization delivers precise, authentic and on-time information to the business for making the right decisions at the right time to make efficient use of all other resources. More critical than ever, businesses require IT to help drive revenue and business innovation by providing innovative products and services that the business can offer to clients to grow revenue, or improve enterprise revenue through better customer loyalty. Senior executives are focused on company/business performance and their number one metric for performance is revenue growth. When they are recognizing that IT is roughly coupled with the business strategy, and it is a very good sign about how the companies will deliver the business results and increase profitability.

Process optimization: IT is at the unique position to oversee the underlying business functions and processes, IT management needs to be in the continuous tuning mode through consolidation, modernization, integration, optimization, streamline business processes, and tighten coordination and collaboration with the business partner. The benefit of IT is reducing the TCO (total cost of ownership) as it reduces a lot of redundancy in the business process which ultimately increases the customer satisfaction (internal and external) or employee productivity. The optimal way for IT to help improve business effectiveness and win new business is to make most of IT/technology "invisible" to the customer. In other words, hide the complexity of IT/technology, and provide customer-friendly products or solutions. What is left visible to the customer should be simple, intuitive, secure, reliable and predictable. IT can also leverage the industry best practices to identify and implement innovative processes specific to the business, which will increase organizational efficiency, competency, and profitability.  

Information and technology make a significant impact on every aspect of the business in the digital world today. In most cases, no information & technology equals no business. The intelligent application of information technology produces a competitive business advantage. IT has a strong impact on these three “P”s: Profitability, productivity, and process, IT needs to catalyze change proactively and achieve high-performance excellence.


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