Preparing Your Organisation for an IT Strategy

photo credit: Gaga℘i✗ via photopin cc

photo credit: Gaga℘i✗ via photopin cc

We have said a number of times on this blog that a strategy is useless unless it is accepted by the organisation and properly executed. You can make any decisions you like in an ivory tower but unless the troops on the ground are aligned – resistence will ensure failure to execute. It is also true to say that strategy is only effective if it evolves on a continuous basis, one of the reasons we built Strategy4IT was to make the documentation of the current state possible – to record not just one moment in time but to rather start a continuous cycle of strategy review and adaption. So, how do you make your organisation ready for change and adapt the necessary culture? Continue reading

Setting up the right IT Governance – Part 1

IT Governance is no piece of cake. While there is no such thing as one-size governance, “over-governance” and “under-governance” are pretty easy to spot. The terrors of the former include redundant committees, attendees who show up because “it’s nice to know what’s going on,” and long paper trails that obstruct decision-making. The problems associated with the latter are arguably even uglier: failed audits, delayed projects, and political crises. As the CIO, you need to strike the right balance in setting up governance, and then walk the tightrope ever on…. To continue reading this article, please visit our sister blog from cibsys directly via this link: ‘Setting up the right IT Governance’ 

Getting Buy-in for Strategy

photo credit: Global X via photopin cc

photo credit: Global X via photopin cc

Whenever we kick of a strategy study in our consulting business with a client, we face a classic choice – do we involve the team from the start or work in a think tank and then syndicate the results. I was fascinated to notice that this dilemma occurs more often as mentioned in the recent BBC Article ‘The Difficult Art of a Good Brainstorm’.

There are many relevant points in the article but I think a fundamental point has been omitted that applies to many organisations, especially larger ones. It is of little relevance how good the idea is as long as the organisation does not buy into it. Therefore consulting the wider team in early stages can be critical to paving the way to future radical change. In order to achieve a mental alignment, it is important to to assess early on whether the strategy is likely to just be an ‘evolution’ from where you are today or more a ‘revolution’. Continue reading

Budget and Strategy Once a Year or Continuously?

photo credit: kenteegardin via photopin cc

photo credit: kenteegardin via photopin cc

With the pending end to the year and a new financial year starting for many of our clients I pose this question to you: why is it that the business cycle for strategy and budgets must so often be annual?  We see so often in the corporate landscape that firms aligned decisions processes to artificial cycles driven by financial reporting. Good ideas have to wait until they match the budget and finance cycle and in my view (as well as possibly many others who felt trapped by this before) this just does not make sense.  I have written on this topic before (“Same procedure as every year”) and I strongly believe it is time that organisations break the annual cycle deadlock.

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Automation of Consulting and Decision Making Processes

photo credit: NightRStar via photopin cc

photo credit: NightRStar via photopin cc

In the early days of IT we saw the simple capture of data and automation of basic repetitive processes – frankly by around the 1990s this wave of automation was largely complete. We have seen in the subsequent years the rise of the automation of reporting and monitoring systems. It is now time for the automation of decision making. All around from the rise of Big Data to the social network, semi-automated decision making processes are now enabling sound decision making, e.g. where to invest money, who to connect with on Linkedin to where to have lunch.

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The Importance of IT Upgrade and Replacement Cycles

photo credit: r000pert via photopin cc

photo credit: r000pert via photopin cc

The BBC draws attention in it’s article Why IT failures at big companies are unlikely to go away to one of the largest challenges in developing and defining an end to end strategy – the aging of software – for organisations, especially larger, older and more complex ones. However, not only is this a challenge for larger organisations but also for SMEs. It is all to easy for reasons of economy to avoid upgrades, bypass patches and to generally keep the status quo. The article states that maybe as much as 20% of any software in organisations, and not just big banks, is out of date.  Any house or car owner knows the perils of failing to update things before they reach the end of their life – would you drive a car with worn of tyres or eat something that has already past the best before date? But somehow we are happy to run software that is years past its replacement date.

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Disruptive Technologies and Business Models in the Banking Sector

Just recently, I was in discussions with a mutual friend whose role was to examine the effects of disruptive and revolutionary technology for a large, German engineering firm. It speaks volumes for this firm that they are far sighted enough to look at this and to even employ a small team to consider how market trends could affect them in the coming years.

Read the rest of the article here http://www.cibsys.com/index.php/disruptive-technologies-and-business-models-in-the-banking-sector/

Six IT Trends To Make Sure Are Covered By Your Strategy

photo credit: Creative Tools via photopin cc

photo credit: Creative Tools via photopin cc

We have seen wave after wave of technical innovation hit the technology market place over the past decades.  Picking the IT trends that will impact your company; selecting the ones to ignore and the ones to surf ahead on early is an art that makes or breaks companies. The “bricks to clicks” revolution that started in 2000 is still hitting companies today and those that lagged behind are slowly dying.  In this blog I want to highlight some things that your company may need to consider and understand the impact of right now.

 
 
 
 
 

If It’s Not Broken, Why Update It?

photo credit: Sean MacEntee via photopin cc

photo credit: Sean MacEntee via photopin cc

From a business perspective the saying “if it is not broken don’t fix it” is often applied to IT systems.  Finding the investment to keep up with the market can be a challenge, and it is often tempting to just avoid any efforts or costs of an upgrade.  Even on our mobile phones we all fear that notification that a new version is available and hit the upgrade button with trepidation; not knowing if the app will successfully install or worse, the whole phone dies.  When applied in the business enterprise that trepidation translates into an inertia to upgrade that can become a massive penalty down the line as the gap to the latest version opens up.  This gets worse as the enterprise gets larger and the decision making more centralised.