Top 10 Business Transformation Best Practices

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Why is it so hard to transform a business area with IT as a catalyst?

In this blog, I’ll take a look at the top challenges to an IT-led business transformation – and the top 10 ways to be successful:

# Challenge What is the Core Issue? EMC Best Practices
1 Business is not engaged. CIO told to transform the business and improve overall business performance. Business unit leadership does not align with CIO. Does not view IT as strategic. Has their own “shadow IT” or, to use another term in place at some companies, “Business-led IT.” CIO must identify and implement 2-3 top priority areas to provide IT as a Service to the business units. In this way, CIO can “prove” to the business units that IT can provide value on a cost-effective basis. This would be the stepping stone to engaging with the business unit for strategic initiatives.
2 Business wants Big Data Analytics and is going to a niche player without involving IT. Same as above. CIO should point out that 1) almost every Big Data project requires data from IT systems, and 2) if every BU took this approach, data silos would be created. Instead, CIO should adopt a Data Lake approach with analytic tools to provide sandboxes for business units to achieve their desires.
3 Business wants to transform – by going directly to a cloud provider for PaaS – not involving IT. Same as above. Same as the best practices advice for item 1. Implement ‘self-service’ and hybrid cloud technologies to allow IT to be a broker between the business and various cloud providers. This enables CIO to exert governance, security, and other policy controls, not to mention financial discipline.
4 Business wants to transform but has no resources to spare to design the new operating model. Business is resource constrained. CIO uses IT business analysts familiar with the specific process area to drive transformation with review and approval by business unit leadership. In addition, CIO may use outside resources (for example, EMC Professional Services skilled in both IT Transformation and relevant Industry processes) to supplement transformational teams.
5 IT wants to lead a business transformation but has no resources to spare. IT is resource constrained. CIO may use outside resources (for example, EMC Professional Services skilled in both IT transformation and relevant industry processes) to supplement IT teams.
6 IT wants to lead a business transformation but doesn’t have change management skilled resources. Same as above. Same as above.
7 Business wants minimal changes as part of the transformation. Business believes that new systems should not change the way the current processes operate. True transformation change requires a fresh look at how a business area operates. CIO should sponsor innovation sessions jointly with the business to discuss. Change is the only constant in business.
8 Business wants one “big bang” implementation of the new operating model. Business want to quickly get the pain of change completed…e.g. ‘tear the bandage off fast’. Can you spell ‘RISK’? CIO to work with the business to implement transformational change in manageable ”chunks” to effectively reduce risk.
9 Business has no funding for transformational projects. Funding is always an issue. CIO should partner with business unit leaders to prioritize funds. See also next item.
10 IT has no funding for transformational projects. Perhaps too much of the IT budget is going to systems maintenance, rather than ‘Improve the business’. Consider EMC’s IT Transformation Workshop and benchmarking service to review what your peers in the industry are doing, compare your metrics to the industry bests, and learn techniques to free up funds for transformational projects.

Keep these in mind as you drive forward with IT-led business transformations!

Next Up: Network Function Virtualization – Myth or Reality?

I hope you will join me and will pass on the link to your friends and networks. Please … subscribe, send me feedback, and check back for the next installment. If nothing else, I promise the Travel Tips will be extremely useful!

Today’s Travel Tip:  Must See Sights and Favorite Gifts to bring back from International Travel – Part 2 – Europe

Typically, I am asked, “You’ve traveled to X. I am going there…what should I see and what should I bring back?” The following is by no means exhaustive but what I consider the top sights and unique gifts representative of the countries I have visited. Generally these gifts are readily available throughout the country as well as in the airport for last-minute shopping. For the Americas, see last month’s blog. Here, we’ll cover Western Europe:

Country Must See Sights Unique Gift
Belgium Brussels: Grand Place, Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert Chocolate, Lace
England London: City tour of London. A concert, opera or ballet at Royal Opera House. Too many more to list. Anything from Harrods with a Harrods Logo
France Paris: Louvre Museum, Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, many more Wine, gourmet treats
Germany Berlin, Rhine River cruise, Heidelberg Hummel figurines, anything from a Christmas market, wine
Greece Acropolis in Athens Wood items made from Olive trees, Olive oil, Ouzo
Italy Rome: Vatican, Coliseum Swords (be sure to put in checked luggage, not in carry-on), glass, wine
Netherlands City Tour via the canals, Anne Frank House, Van Gogh Museum Delftware pottery, cheese
Spain Museum del Prado, Plaza Mayor, Palacio Real Lladro figurines, leather coats/purses
Switzerland Matterhorn, Geneva Chocolates

About the Author: Laddie Suk

Laddie leads a cross-functional Dell Technologies Consulting team focused on digital transformation and industry solutions. He is a seasoned industry veteran with deep experience across multiple industries, solutions, and technologies. As a former Verizon Network CIO and Network Executive at AT&T and Bell Labs, he has extensive hands-on experience in leading strategic network and IT development projects and managing communication service provider environments. He has also led strategic and tactical engagements in network transformation, IT transformation, and business process and performance improvement for clients throughout the Americas.
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