The Emergence of IT as a Critical Business Enabler

data2The convergence of disruptive technologies – social, mobile, analytics and cloud – is quickly changing the face of business. Whether it’s how you manufacture, market and distribute your products, or how your back office operates, these technologies now permeate the organization, changing fundamental business processes and models. As a result, technology decisions are now business decisions.

In many companies, IT has long been regarded as a back-office cost of doing business. But IT has now emerged as a critical business enabler, improving customer engagement, speeding time to market and driving operational effectiveness. Incorporating this new way of thinking into your strategic planning, resource allocation and technology governance is essential to success.

In many large companies, business units have been adopting new technologies on their own. One such client, a large financial institution, had more than 2,000 separate mobility projects under development simultaneously. They were being driven by the needs of the siloed business units, but there was no sharing of architectures and learning. The solution was to “federalize” these initiatives under an enterprise-wide strategy.

A number of my clients have done this with great success. In the place of separate application modernization initiatives, centers of excellence have been established to work toward a common goal.  IT is stepping forward to play a key role in aggregating business needs across the enterprise and facilitating sharing of best practices and enabling technology. This enterprise visibility and collaboration helps to knock down barriers and better leverage resources.

But to truly thrive in this fast-moving new era, organizations must go even farther and transform themselves into service-enabled enterprises. Leveraging cloud and as-a-service technologies, such organizations are able to develop, test, deploy and scale new products and services quickly. The company is data-driven, able to monitor customers, competitors and its own operations in near real time, and is capable of making better decisions and acting on those decisions more quickly than ever before.

With a flexible IT architecture that allows quick and continuous innovation, becoming a service-enabled enterprise is how businesses will flourish today.

By Jim Petrassi, Global Technology Consulting Leader, CSC

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