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Digital Transformation

2017 DT Trend: IT Will Continue to Evolve to Be More Agile

Some trends tend to be new and some are just a continuation.  Frankly, most IT organizations need a bit of a shakeup when it comes to digital transformation.  For too long, we have focused on ringing cost out of technology investment rather than using technology investment to gain more revenue or value.  I’ve lost track of the number of times that IT Execs admitted to me their main job we in cutting costs from data centers, hardware, and resources.  It shows in the types of conversations we’ve had with CIO’s in years past.  The main thrust usually involved some variant of the question, “How can you help me save money or make my operation more efficient?”

While that’s a great question, Digital Transformation takes a different tack.  It’s less about efficiency and more about providing quicker time to value.  While they may sound similar, they come from different philosophies.  In 2016, we saw more willingness to adjust IT organizations in the following ways:

  1. Investment in DevOps to get new code and systems online faster and with higher quality
  2. Willingness to organize teams focused on business technology.  These teams focus on using agile methodologies to create new systems driven by business needs.

In 2017, we’ll continue to see more of it.  Nigel Fenwick at Forrester has this to say in his 2017 predictions

You will break down organizational barriers with Agile, cross-functional teams. Agile delivery methodologies that enable firms to more rapidly build new customer experiences will become the norm in 2017. (see endnote 12) Lloyds Banking Group has worked with SapientNitro to align cross-functional teams around the pillars of its customer experience. The Guardian assembles temporary cross-functional “huddles” to work across departments.

Action: Reorganize into Agile, cross-functional teams aligned for outcomes. Digital business professionals should champion Agile teams for different kinds of work: new products, customer sub-journeys, and digital experiences, for example. This may require new leadership models such as digital product owners, new collaboration tools that span corporate boundaries — GitHub and Slack, for example — and new workspaces that stimulate cooperation and iterative work. And it must be powered by new insights tools like journey analytics to keep everyone on the same page. (see endnote 13)

An action which I bring my whole hearted agreement. (for those reading the whole article, I also love his last point on bringing service providers to the table to help enable your transformation)

But that’s not the only thing that will happen within IT.  Here’s what we think is going to continue to happen:

  1. IT will continue to change their organizations to meet a more quickly evolving marketplace
  2. IT will continue to invest in projects that drive value.  That includes business driven projects and DevOps projects.
  3. IT will accept a modified role as trusted advisor to business as the business drives change.

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Michael Porter

Mike Porter leads the Strategic Advisors team for Perficient. He has more than 21 years of experience helping organizations with technology and digital transformation, specifically around solving business problems related to CRM and data.

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