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IT & The Business – Where did it go wrong?

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IT & The Business – Where did it go wrong?

With technology constantly evolving and organisations vying for competitive edge and market share, many look to Information Technology to provide that advantage. Unfortunately, what can often occur is a lack of clear understanding and direction leading to solutions that fail to achieve business expectations. More significantly this can result in significant business impact, service degradations, reputational damage and financial loss.As an organisation, let’s look at how you can more effectively direct your resources to ensure the success of your next solution. How does Information Technology support and add value to my business? A question too often neglected and rarely fully understood within IT Departments. Understanding how a business operates and leverages technology is crucial to the success of any initiative, ensuring:
  • Value add
  • Lean initiatives and processes
  • Reduction in overheads
  • Efficiency and effectiveness
Too often solutions are requested by the business and rapidly deployed by IT achieving a subset of requirements but potentially introducing a myriad of new complexities and issues. Failing to understand actual requirements and ensuring they are achieved. The problem can arise from multiple areas with a lack of involvement from technology teams, insufficient documentation and visibility for the business but primarily stems from communication barriers. “Fit for Purpose” is a common term everyone should be familiar with in the industry today due to the huge variety and flexibility of options on the market. Whether identifying virtualisation solutions or infrastructure pieces, opportunities to move to or out of hosted services in the cloud or introducing and upgrading core business platforms and applications; all of which require an understanding of business operations to ensure the solution is successful. Oxford defines Fit for Purpose as “well equipped or well suited for its designated role or purpose” which I think is fitting for a Technology solution or service. Is the organisation equipped to implement and support the solution? Is the solution well suited to provide the outcome or outputs designated by the business? Whilst it’s a very high level perspective of an extremely detailed and varying topic I still believe those two questions provide significant value to many levels of the organisation. These two questions lead back to the initial requirement for increased communication and visibility within all aspects of the business. Technology teams that have a more holistic approach and understanding to IT and its business impact implementing processes and practices that directly contribute to business goals and outputs. Alternatively business and application functions who have broader understanding of technology and system roadmaps identifying solutions the organisation is well equipped or capable of leveraging. What a strange world that would be! This mindset in no means replaces or negates the need for a sound architecture methodology, roadmaps or consistent change management practices. Quite the opposite, it enhances all of these by encouraging buy-in from technology teams and a greater appreciation of how solutions are being leveraged by the business and its customers. Enabling the development and introduction of technologies and processes that directly relate to customer needs and use cases will greatly increase the likelihood for success of that new initiative. Organisations need technology and technology teams need the organisation to guide and direct them accurately to deliver real value. Bridge that gap, empower technical teams to really understand the value and services that they are delivering to the business and watch the fit for purpose solutions role in maximizing value add from technology to your organisation.

May 2015

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