If the thought of “IT transformation” seems daunting or overwhelming for your business, you’re not alone.
What is IT transformation?
IT transformation is not just about implementing technology; it’s about changing the way your IT department delivers services to its customers, and influencing how the various other business units in your organization operate to produce your products and services. It’s more than just “digital transformation” — the general term associated with changing the way businesses perform work utilizing digital technologies. For example, if you’re implementing an automation system so your team can do more work faster, that is only one part of a total roadmap of initiatives that would make up an IT transformational program.
Companies transform their IT operations primarily due to external business pressures that force them to meet new or different market demands. Since most businesses today are reliant on IT systems and services, the IT organization must also meet these changing market demands.
Benefits that add up
The key is to think of IT transformation in terms of continual improvement: smaller, incremental projects designed to change business operations iteratively. This means not overhauling — ripping and replacing — but instead doing a better job using the existing capabilities you already have. When you optimize the systems, people, and processes you have invested in — the benefits to your business can be significant. For example, it can mean faster time-to-market for those IT services that allow a business to capitalize on market opportunities. Additionally, as IT transforms, it can optimize the use of its own resources and reduce operational costs. By leveraging what you currently have, you can maximize the value for investment in things like infrastructure and software. Best of all, you’ll have systems in place that are fully designed — and optimized — to move your operation to a more mature future state.
Strategic Transformation is a proven approach to IT transformation
Advizex has spent years helping their clients transform their IT operations through a set of services they call Strategic Transformation Services. Strategic Transformation helps businesses align their IT strategies and capabilities with their end goals to address those constantly changing business requirements.
Strategic Transformation looks at the business vision. What is the desired business outcome? Then it’s important to look at where you are today, so you can leverage what you have to create the roadmap to move forward. ▾
Strategic Transformation helps businesses align their IT strategies and capabilities with their end goals to address those constantly changing business requirements.
Here are three reasons Strategic Transformation might be right for you:
1. You can enhance the way your business operates through improved IT capabilities
The best business owners, entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 CEOs know that in the business world, there is always room for improvement. However, sometimes improvements in IT are often only looked at in terms of fixes and updates to technology: the hardware and software. Optimizing your IT business doesn’t mean implementing one improvement, it can mean a variety of related activities or projects that need to happen over a period of time to help you get where you want to go.
Strategic Transformation has helped countless organizations identify, plan, and prioritize critical activities needed to achieve an overall vision for improved business operations. Because desired outcomes are measurable, progress towards the end goal is more transparent; it ensures that value is delivered for the investments made.
At Advizex, our team helped a multi-national food producer analyze their IT cost of labor through our “LEAN Process Advizer®” service. This exercise focused on one specific IT business process that needed automation. By looking at the process performed manually and comparing the time/cost of labor for completing all the required tasks to a scenario where those tasks were fully automated and integrated, we identified a potential 96% improvement to be made. In addition, we projected a 72% optimization of labor, being able to shift people to higher value tasks. The result was that Advizex helped their customer implement one small piece of a larger, long-term roadmap for digitally enabling their business operations.
This is a good example of using Strategic Transformation to establish “quick wins,” and create momentum that carries a business to long-term success. We don’t simply make recommendations. We execute against those plans for our customers in unique and innovative ways that fit within their budget.
2. You’re not sure if your current IT operational capabilities are optimized to deliver services that enable future business needs
Businesses are constantly bombarded with changing outside influences that affect their market position — and these changes often put pressure on their IT organizations. This requires IT to be “nimbler” and continually improve/optimize capabilities. It is a challenge in-and-of itself because improvements cost money, and IT operations typically are struggling to “keep the lights on” — without the luxury of adequate budgets to improve how they operate.
How do you know what you need? Advizex looks at a business’ Strategic Transformation possibilities from a unique perspective, since the Advisory Consultants have both IT and business acumen. Many of us have had positions within IT organizations and with customers, so we understand the constant challenges related to optimizing operations and value. Sometimes companies will benefit from an investment in new tools or added capacity. Still others might need more behind-the-scenes assistance, working with personnel to better utilize the systems that are already in place.
A good example of this in action is the work Advizex did for a major ride-sharing company. His team helped the company define their network and security strategy. “The customer’s current capabilities were limited. Their team to software development. However, we were able to help them improve IT operations by automating their infrastructure in ways that allow for the provisioning of networks and servers in minutes instead of days or weeks. That was able to get them much further along from a networking security perspective,” explains Advizex team member Andrew Ortiz.
3. You need to gain executive buy-in and alignment on your strategy
Since Strategic Transformation focuses on business outcomes, the conversation can start at any level in any department within an organization. However, to gain traction with any new strategy, you have to gain buy-in from key organizational leaders — even those with competing interests. Strategic Transformation services help customers achieve this important step.
Everyone has different perspectives and political interests. Someone in the finance industry has vastly different challenges than someone in retail or healthcare. They may view the outcomes differently. Part of our Strategic Transformation services include discovery discussions that involve all senior level executives across an organization. Uncovering the high-level objectives of different organizational silos makes the process much more effective and meaningful.
Our team spends time getting immersed in their clients’ businesses so they can learn more about what is happening day-to-day, who makes key decisions, who influences change, and what drives their business forward, as well as what truly matters to the people within the organization. For any change to be successful, you must first ensure that organizational leaders are aligned strategy for the organization and harness their influence to lead change throughout the organization. We work with our clients to do that.
An example of this in action is the work Advizex did for a healthcare services provider in Upstate New York. With three distinct business units, and three separate CIOs supporting each unit, this organization realized that they needed better alignment between the executive board and the CIOs who were driving their IT strategies in three separate directions. Advizex utilized an Organization and Strategy Advizer® to better align the company’s IT organization to their corporate strategies and goals. The Advizer® started by conducting an IT alignment survey, whereby business and IT leaders completed an online questionnaire. This survey generated objective, numerical scores based on key subjects.
When we presented the results back to the leaders, they could see clearly how out of alignment they were in their perspectives and priorities. They became aware of just how inefficiently they were using capital investments in IT. We made key recommendations to change their organizational structure to align to their strategy. Once completed, the organization will be on the path to significantly improving the outcomes of IT and ultimately the achievements of the business. ▪