Digital Transformation

Crossroads of Control vs. Digital cont.

In my last post, Crossroads of Control vs. Digital, I said would discuss the next logical questions for an IT leader.  The first of which is “How do you embrace this “new world order” without having everyone in the business do their own thing, with little consideration for overall company mission & best practices?”   News Flash: Folks are doing their own thing already.  Embrace it and become an enabler, nay, a leader of a bottom-up, federated technology department focused not on control but on driving productivity and value.

To be successful this will begin at home with what is the biggest impediment – your team.  Your team is accustomed to having control.  You will need to educate them on the new ways and integrate them back into the business.  This means three things.

  • Solid multi-layer governance led not by IT but by the departments in your business.
  • A keen focus on enterprise architecture not to be confused with technical architecture.
  • And perhaps most importantly, immersion of the technologists at the individual level into the various business departments in a way that is a conduit for understanding and influence.

You may feel you are giving up the control, but that perceived control comes with sub-optimal productivity, sub-optimal meeting of customer demand, sub-optimal profits or surpluses and sub-optimal sustainability.  The reward of improved productivity, improved morale, meeting customer demands and bottom line improvements will be worth the short term discomfort.

 

Crossroads of Control vs Power

“The technology for digital business is stateless and loosely-coupled, not stateful and closely-coupled like IT.”  This quote from Andy Mulholland, VP & Principal Analyst at Constellation Research, caught my attention because it captures a paradigm shift that most IT leaders struggle to embrace.  

There is a sense of security in the technology control processes that IT created due to a lack of digital literacy within businesses in the past.  Today, however, digital literacy is universal within not only businesses, but society at large.  The challenge to IT leaders today?  Embrace the stateless and loosely-coupled nature of digital business by creating the required relationship networks.  The reward will be a new sense of power that not only improves their ability to deliver on their mission, but will result in better job satisfaction for their teams.

In my next post, I will discuss the next logical questions for an IT leader:

  • How do you embrace this “new world order” without having everyone in the business do their own thing, with little consideration for overall company mission & best practices? 
  • And how do you prevent the business from getting abused and taken advantage of by the technology vendors that love nothing more than having business “go around IT” and work directly with them?

Business teams definitely know more about technology than they did 20 years ago, but do they know enough to make solid decisions about complex technology on their own?  Now, more than ever, is the time for IT leaders to show a healthy respect for business leaders’ interests while positioning themselves as trusted advisors and experts.