Gone are the days when an IT transformation initiative was just an IT story. Today, the stakeholders of an IT transformation program are many and varied, with the IT department aligning their objectives and implementation plans with the goals and expectations of their business counterparts.
Is your IT transformation initiative on track?
Some of the primary objectives behind an IT transformation initiative are cost optimization and increasing the value of IT to business. The success of such an initiative is less about technologies and software and more about following a well thought out implementation plan.
Five things to keep in mind when implementing large IT transformation initiatives are:
Achieve close alignment of the organization’s business goals with the transformation program: Before starting an IT transformation initiative, ensure that the business priorities of the organization align with the vision for IT as a whole. For this, the transformation team needs to develop an understanding of the organization’s IT maturity level and its ambitions.
One way of doing this is by applying structured frameworks or models to assess and benchmark an organization's IT capability and maturity level. This can help provide a road map for how best to go about transforming an organization’s IT.
Examples of such models include the Innovation Value Institute’s IT Capability Maturity Framework, a tool used to provide a blueprint to allocate and monitor the IT assets at the CIO's disposal.
Another model is Accenture’s IT Capability and Maturity Model, a proven and strategic approach based on extensive client experience that helps maximize the value of IT transformation by ensuring that the organization’s business goals align with the initiative.
The transformation team members must have prior experience in implementing complex IT (including application and infrastructure): Transformation projects are expensive and complex, and therefore, the risk of failure could be high. This is where prior experience of managing such initiatives, especially on a large scale, can be a major factor in ensuring the success of a project.
Ensure that the program improves the business or enhances IT operations: In IT transformation programs, the transformation road map must be analyzed to ascertain the benefits of each step. For example, will the IT transformation help the organization increase its return on investment, leverage new technologies or better manage mergers and acquisitions?
Alternatively, the initiative could focus on enhancing IT operations by building capabilities to improve delivery, increase productivity, or reduce IT costs as well as risks.
Ensure the IT transformation team has the necessary expertise to complete the initiative successfully: The team must be have deep expertise and knowledge of both the IT and business environment—a critical balance for successful execution of such projects.
The team must be able to quickly analyze client IT functions, diagnose areas for improvement, build a robust business case for broader IT transformation, shape a change program and map a clear route to business results.
Have a risk management strategy in place: In case of unforeseen situations that may increase the cost of the project, expand its scope, prolong effort estimation or delay the delivery schedule, a robust risk management strategy is required to map out the actions to take in order to ensure a smooth implementation process.
In the past, IT and business groups worked in their respective silos. Today, however, the trend is for IT to play an active role in helping executives formulate business strategies, execute them and anticipate future business direction and requirements.
Indeed, a strong collaboration between IT and their business counterparts is not just desirable but necessary, especially for organization-wide IT transformation initiatives.
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This article has been provided by Accenture