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IT Transformation is Business Transformation! Why? How?

Author: Ravi Vishnubhotla, Senior Technical Architect (Insurance - FSI)

Today, IT transformation (IT Strategy/Application Portfolio Rationalization) has become synonymous with business transformation. In this post discusses why has this happened and how can it be achieved.

Why is IT Transformation same as Business Transformation today?
As part of IT Transformation, businesses and clients go through IT strategy for 3-5 years to replace their existing legacy technology with newer or better technology. IT Transformation is assessed in terms of People, Process and Technology. The sponsorship is mostly within IT department and implementation of the strategy is completely IT driven. However, in today's era where growth is measured in terms of revenue / profit / customer service and SLA's, IT becomes an enabler for business to achieve these goals. So when business vision, mission and goals are considered, IT transformation automatically becomes the same as business transformation. Business users play an active role during this process and  act as a key driver for the successful completion.

How can Business Transformation be achieved?
Business Transformation can be achieved by using the following methodology. This methodology is one of approaches based on my experience which can applied to small or medium sized businesses and can vary depending on businesses or industry. The key principle is to define steps using People, Process and Technology perspective.

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  • Business Vision
    - Obtain business stakeholders vision of the future of their business; Where do they expect the business to be few years from now (generally 3-5 years depending on the size of business or industry)
    - Understand overall organization and the business
    - Understand the core services and business processes
    - Key concerns / challenges being faced in the business
    - Define key driving factors of the business
    - Create a Vision Document and core stakeholder group to oversee the transformation process
  • Current State Assessment (CSA)
    -Understand the AS-IS business process and business applications
    -Conduct discussion sessions with business stakeholders
    -Document all issues, manual processes, areas of pain points
  • Future State (CSA)
    -Define the 'To-Be State' for IT Systems, Infrastructure and business processes
    -Apply solution(s) to business vision, manual processes and pain points
    -Consider modern business, IT trends, Industry Standards and guidelines
  • GAP Analysis
    -Defines what it will take to go from current state to defined future state
    -Should consider new business processes, new IT applications
    -Apply disruptive IT solutions e.g. Mobility, Automation
  • Define IT Solution Architecture
    -Define solutions for various gaps identified and new processes/applications considered
    -Perform initial Product Evaluation for solutions if needed. Consider Buy vs Build
    -Identify Logical (functional view) and Physical (system view) IT solution and model
  • Develop CBA and Roadmap
    -Estimate the timelines and effort for the various solution defined
    -Perform cost analysis by considering price of infrastructure, IT systems (product / in house development), hiring new people, and introducing new processes
    -Break down solutions into various projects and assign stakeholders either from IT or Business
    -Propose a Road map to rollout the solutions.
  • Review and finalize strategy
    -Review the proposed transformation process as draft via a presentation or a document
    -Conduct sessions with various business unit stake holders and IT stakeholders
    -Agree on the proposed solution and roadmap
    -Refine and resolve any open issues or questions
    -Baseline Strategy for CTO and CEO approval

To summarize, this is how the business transformation process will look:

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The steps defined here are based on my experience, working with various customers and clients. The process or approach can vary and will be different depending on the business and industry. This is not a one size fits all methodology but should give you fair idea as to what it takes to achieve business transformation from an IT perspective.


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