Although IT has become more and more invasive in business over the years, many IT organizations still struggle with the changes that this development demands. Nowadays, an IT organization needs to address many issues in order to keep control over its own future and fulfill the expectations of the business. These issues, such as combining new technology with legacy systems, require stronger business involvement and they determine future technical and soft skills sets. What new technologies to adopt, how to incorporate cloud, how to improve the time to market of new IT services and the make-or-buy / sourcing strategy for IT must be dealt with at an ever-increasing pace. Failing to address such issues appropriately can easily threaten the continued existence of the IT organization.
The IT organization as we know it has already been declared dead by many. And rightly so – if an IT organization cannot respond to today’s challenges, business units increasingly see this as a trigger to set up their own IT department. However, this is not an inevitable fate that should be accepted easily. If IT management is willing and able to accept that the role of the traditional IT department needs to change, and that their management style needs to be updated accordingly, the department can reinvent itself in order to confront the challenges ahead.
A combined approach that is based on the objectives and desired future role of the IT organization, and includes the revision of the current IT service portfolio, IT governance functions and structures, skills sets (both soft and technical) and management style. This combined approach brings all aspects of change in the organization of IT into perspective, and changes can be designed and implemented in a coordinated manner.
The tools that are applied in this approach are aimed at analyzing and enabling changes to current drivers of individual and team behavior as well as determining objectives and goals, framework models (including roles), management structures, IT services, skills sets and levels, and IT service management. The approach can be expanded with specialist coaching and guidance depending on the specific focus and area of change.
Modern IT organizations need a different skills set and a more business- and change-oriented mindset compared to a traditional IT department. This applies to all levels in the IT department. Adopting and recognizing the need for change is therefore key, at both the management and employee level. A lack of top-down guidance and leadership, encouragement and support can hamper changes on the work floor, while inhibitions at management level could have a negative impact on success.
A modernized and restructured IT organization that involves both the IT department and the business, and enables the company to apply IT as a driver of business innovation and where IT adds value to the relevant business areas. In this organization, processes, service delivery, governance structures, skills set, staff and last but not least mindset are all oriented towards performing in alignment with business requirements.
Does my IT organization drive business innovation? Is the time to market of new IT services short enough? How quickly do we adopt new technologies? Are we focusing on customer intimacy, or just on operational excellence? Is our skills set developing quickly enough? Is our IT top notch? Do we achieve market conformity in cost levels?
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