5 Questions for IT Organizations to worry about
Changes are taking shape. Some are evident, many are like undercurrents, yet not prominently visible but slowly moving the needle, like global warming. I'm talking about the changes in the industry with respect to future of IT and IT organizations. Where businesses stand today and what they need in future, how much ready are IT organizations to make it happen for them?
While today we mostly ask the questions in terms of new technologies as far as the IT organizations are concerned for their readiness, I think its going to be far more fundamental that we will need to worry about going forward since the changes happening around will make many of the existing models, methods and patterns of IT services irrelevant. Lot of this has to be do with the changing expectations of how IT will be used in future, how products and technologies in IT are going to be like and how businesses are going to structure themselves to make business happen on IT driven business operation eco-system. Needless to say, that this eco-system is not just applications but digital devices, sensors and all that you can think of. In recent past I had quite diverse conversations with organization leadership teams, especially in the context of Business value strategy. Using that as a background and seeing what else is happening around, here is what I think should be top 5 worry for the IT organizations that are providing services to their business owners.
- What is the cost that your organization is paying for your constraints? - constraints could be your service levels in terms of response time, could be quality, could be ability to resolve business challenges. Most important thing is that you as IT organization, are you aware of cost that business pays for every constraint that you bring on the table? You may not be watching but trust me, one who is paying the cheque for your services is watching it. Check it out.
- Given a chance of better ‘service provider’ today, will Business owners replace you? - Don't get surprised. Many organizations treat their internal IT organization as yet another IT services provides and pretty much deal with them like one. Organizations have kind of got into mindset of looking for better options if their internal IT organization is not able to perform upto the mark. Options are always there, its just matter of making the decision. Its all going to be 'business value' game and every one will have to earn the cheque through business value delivery and not just by 'doing things'. Serious stuff, I think.
- Will you remain relevant ‘tomorrow’ with changing patterns of technology evolution? - Changes are happening rapidly and some of them will change the game for businesses. Linking back to previous point, you as service organization, how much are you ready to enable your businesses to leverage the new technologies without reading putting much to stake in terms of risk? If you do not evolve, new technologies will make you irrelevant in terms of your servicing capabilities and point# 2 will make it even more serious.
- Are you busy solving your internal problems or are you solving business problems? - Watch out where are the leaders and managers of your IT organizations spending their time on. If they are busy sorting out their internal issues and not really providing leadership in resolving business challenges through IT capabilities, there is lot of wastage happening. Its not more affordable.
- How much can your business organization rely on you for their future bets? - Probably THE most crucial question that IT organizations need to think of. Can their businesses rely on them to capably provide support for the future business bets of the organization? Businesses are in transition and hence no one really knows how things are going to be turned out in future. But they are picking up their best bets and playing on it. If IT organizations are not able to support the future bets, that's lot to lose, big stake. So first, as IT organization, are you aware what those big business bets are for your organization and secondly, are you ready to make those bets happen from your end?
Is this scary? It should be. But again, its meant to show the good news also. While it is scary, it also means that current way of doing is not going to sustain so you have option to change the game. That's exciting part of it. You get to be part of the change and not just being part of the change but leading the change. Can you ask for more?