If IT is going to meet the challenge brought on by digital disruption, a new operating model is required that can leverage emerging technologies and sourcing alternatives to satisfy these new stakeholder expectations.
This operating model is built around new capabilities to help the business rapidly and confidently identify and acquire IT-enabled solutions that deliver high quality and optimal business value at competitive costs. This next-generation IT operating model encompasses three new ways to think about the role of the IT function: broker, integrate, and orchestrate.
Broker, integrate, orchestrate
Rather than a builder, IT functions as a broker bringing buyers, e.g., customers and stakeholders, together with sellers, e.g., service providers, to solve a business problem. IT brings its knowledge of the market, technologies, and vendors together with its deep understanding of its stakeholders’ needs to help the business select the right solution and to also proactively bring IT-enabled innovation opportunities to their attention.
In a world where services are multi-sourced and the supply chain becomes complex, IT’s responsibility changes from primarily delivering services to the end-to-end performance of services. In its third role IT orchestrates the delivery of services and ensures that performance, cost, and quality are meeting or exceeding expectations and the business is getting value. IT’s role is to make this complexity invisible to the business.
CIOs have a short window of opportunity to take the leadership position in this transformation and maintain influence over technology acquisition, deployment, and spending. Running IT as a business is an essential element for disciplined execution of the Broker/Integrate/Orchestrate operating model. If IT is not perceived as being a transparent, credible, and reliable provider of services at competitive prices, then it is doubtful it will succeed in making the transformation.
Cloud technology has matured to the point where cloud-based alternatives, either public, private, or hybrid, are viable for most situations. CIOs need to embrace the cloud and implement a cloud governance framework and defined process for leveraging the speed, agility, and cost benefits inherent in cloud technologies.
The business is looking for IT not just to support innovation but also to be a source of innovation. With the consumerization of IT, many IT organizations have found themselves behind their users in adopting new technologies. IT needs to invest in research and development capabilities to evaluate emerging technologies and support joint pilots and POCs with the business. IT needs to get ahead of its customers and lead, not follow when it comes to exploiting technology.