Companies today increasingly recognize Digital Technology and IT infrastructure as a strategic asset that provides companies with the ability to effectively compete in its’ marketplace – an observation underscored by the Nash KPMG 2017 CIO Survey finding that CIOs sit on 62% of executive boards as opposed to 38% in 2005. While their relative importance varies slightly from year to year, the C-Suite charter for Digital Technology consistently features the following items:
- Taking cost out of the business
- Improving operational efficiencies
- Improving business processes
- Consistent and stable performance
- Agility and nimbleness to meet ever-changing market conditions
So how do CIOs and CTOs ensure that their digital technology strategies deliver on these asks?
The foundation to successfully addressing these needs is alignment: Alignment between Information Technology units and the core business. When this alignment is missing, the business finds it hard to relate to what IT is doing and what IT expenditures buy the company. Minus the alignment, IT personnel may find themselves struggling under slashed budgets and justifying their funding requests in front of a sea of glazed over eyes. Effective business units only propose initiatives that are supported by a clearly articulated financial driver. This requires a Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) analyses.
Business-IT Alignment is the foundation of your Digital Strategy and Execution Plan and IT Infrastructure is the framework for this structure. Most companies rely on outside Infrastructure Services who can help grow strong healthy ‘bones’ for IT.
Having selected a durable IT framework of hardware, software and services, the next logical question is how and where to build the house around it? Data Centers, Hosting Services, and Cloud Providers are not mutually exclusive answers to this question. Experts in Data Center and Cloud Services can help you determine which combination is right for you and how best to manage a hybrid solution going forward.
With a strong, nimble IT structure in place, the CIO looks to how this can deliver key business enablers. Regardless of the industry vertical, every company must manage critical resources and processes for timely and cost effective delivery of its products and services. CIO’s are challenged with finding a robust Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system that fits their business strategies, functional requirements and budget. Once these core elements are in place, the company can focus on the intersection of people, process, technology and delivering optimal financial performance. These decisions require subject matter experts in many areas that will help the CIO create requirements for new digital technology systems and assist them in selecting vendors, change management and implementation.
If the rise in power of mid-range and mini computers forever changed business’ concept of computing devices, the increasing capability of mobile devices is revolutionizing how, when, and where we do business today. These devices have brought dramatic productivity to industries that range from manufacturing, healthcare to advertising and philanthropic ventures.
Middle market US companies are on the threshold of a new world of operational efficiency, productivity and customer engagement through the Industrial Internet of Things and blockchain. The rapidly changing face of technology and its myriad offerings makes for a bewildering range of choices. CIO’s and their teams need to focus on how a company can leverage software, operations and infrastructure to optimize performance throughout the company. Cross functional teams need to:
- Understand the current state
- Articulate goals and strategy
- Identify the Digital Technology strategies that will achieve corporate objectives
- Turn Digital Technology and IT infrastructure investments into revenue centers rather than cost centers
- Create a competitive advantage.
The last point is to understand that companies are not capable of keeping up with the rate of change in technology and software efficiency. Because of that, it is important that companies make their technology and infrastructure scalable and sustainable. Not an easy challenge.
You can read more about these issues in the following Group50 articles: Middle Market Growing Pains and Leveraging Technology for your Next Wave of Productivity, and for those middle market companies who need more, they may want to consider a Business Transformation strategy.
Call a Group50 Digital Transformation expert today to discuss how you can maximize the ROI of your most important strategic asset at (909)-949-9083, request more information here or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Group50: Shirish Nene, with over 30 years of corporate digital technology experience leads Group50’s Digital Technology practice which consist of subject matter experts in digital technology, digital supply chains, infrastructure and OMNI channel strategies. We have created a series of Digital Technology assessments that are focused on Business-IT alignment and getting answers to the 8 critical technology questions. They are part of part of Group50’s Company Physical®, consisting of over 50 assessments and workshops designed to provide a client’s leadership team with the appropriate insights to how their business operates, identifies the opportunities to significantly improve business performance and develop and implement improvement programs. Group50 has the resources and skill sets that will enable us to make the entire transformation journey with our clients and focus on the intersection of people, process and technology.
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