The board has many things to consider and technology has bounced up the agenda with pundits remarking every business is now a digital business. With the rate of technological innovation and the pervasive use of Cloud computing it is a juggling act to not get left behind, never mind get ahead.
This book describes a model for how a business will make decisions to deal with ever-increasing reliance on technology. Those decisions are complex as they conflate past IT investments (they work and have book value) while taking advantage of innovation served up in the Cloud. Don’t be fearful that you will drown in techno-speak as the book is in two parts; Part 1 talks about and sets questions you will want to ask of yourself and others to know what organizational capability needs to exist to support the business strategy.
As you look forward in time what technological capability will the business require?
What skills and experience will you need to understand how to put that innovation to work?
Who do you partner with for knowledge and access to their relationships to support you?
Boards will be aware of the techno-political debate that places a new responsibility on organizations in respect of the processing of data. A legal responsibility and accountability now accompany the decision to invest in technology such as Artificial Intelligence for the processing of data.
The connectedness and ease with which data can transmitted in the digital age, while creating new opportunities, also comes with new responsibilities. In some jurisdictions, like the European Union, the consequences of non-compliance are severe. The California Consumer Privacy Act will go into effect Jan. 1, 2020. This is a governance matter reserved for the board.
The CxO team
Information Technology in the past was for boffins. That all changed over the last two decades and now everyone is expected to be computer savvy. It is hard to imagine a discussion involving the CxO team that does not include technology. The thing is, it is getting an ever more complex discussion as ‘business’ and ‘technology’ are interwoven and core to business strategy and execution. Management has the ultimate responsibility for business outcomes and today’s leaders must operate in the style of leaner ways of thinking and operating, as revealed in this book.
A measure of a successful company is how it is harnessing technology and how that is both an offensive and defensive strategy in a world that has a long list of established businesses going from glory to bust and the ‘oh poor them’ analysis of what happened. We all know who they are, we used to shop there, they were a supplier and so on.
So, if technology is now “make or break” then this book is for you to engage the Board and Line of Business Managers in a discussion about ‘what the business has to be good at’, whether that is customer service, optimisation of the supply chain or supporting a mobile workforce to name a few. These things describe how the business operates and this book serves up a discussion about how that evolves with technology and harnessing the power and innovation of cloud computing. The execution of that does not happen without the IT team in tow. One important aspect is the Human Resources you will need. The cloud has new capabilities that may demand a skills audit of your tech teams. Where gaps exist then look to partner with those that have those skills.
Line of Business Manager
There is no better place to understand the demands of the business than those at the sharp end. You may hear your competitors are delivering new products and services more quickly or making it easier and more convenient for customers to conduct their day-to-day business.
The availability of cloud computing has created new opportunities for LOB managers to respond quickly and equip their teams with new ways to deliver productivity and work smart. That has served its purpose well and is now part of the big picture of how the business will create an agile posture to the deployment of technology.
CIO / CTO / CDO
The CIO, CTO and CDO are key architects of the transformation we describe in this book and your role will fundamentally change. You’re going to move from expert execution to expert execution plus leading transformation. The execution of the Digital Operating Model is your hands and the Cloud Adoption Framework is your roadmap. You may want to align with partners who bring experience to your discussions, plans and execution.
Depending on the size of the organisation, you as IT Manager will take the lead, as you are where the rubber meets the road. Where strategy meets execution and reality. You’ll be the project manager of the Digital Operating Model and this book will equip you with everything you need to know to build it. Speed of execution is going to be important, so you may want to consider what skills are ‘core’ for the business to retain and what to delegate to partners.