Enterprise ICT planners are at a crossroads, unsure which route to take toward transformation. Some have developed strategies for ICT change based on clear thinking and simple plans for business transformation. Others still do not understand the opportunity.
Do not get stalled at the transformation start line
Ovum enterprise analysts were asked to help moderate a series of CIO roundtables hosted in London by NTT Communications on July 2, 2015. We were struck by the range of business challenges and strategic ambitions of ICT planners at the 100 or so companies from across Europe that attended.
First the encouraging news: many CIOs and procurement managers are forging ahead with transformation programs that tightly ally and associate ICT change with business change. This may be in terms of improved operational performance throughout the organisation or in terms of market direction and positioning. What was characteristic of these companies – and this was true for manufacturing, financial services, and technology and media companies alike – is that they are keeping things plain and direct. A typical to-do list for digital transformation includes creating an innovation team, reviewing the IT estate, developing a strategic plan, and considering the impact on the customer.
We heard from companies that have such a framework; they spoke confidently because they know where they are going based on principles that are keeping them grounded. We also heard from companies that have no confidence at all in any ICT transformation program and lack a strategic ICT plan.
Companies in the first group typically have an existing working relationship with their managed services provider as a consultant, co-innovator, and business development partner. Those in the second group generally have limited expectations of their managed services project and are reluctant to place demands on it.
Enterprise telecoms and IT managers – and especially procurement managers – who are naturally cautious about co-innovation, consumption-based pricing, and other fundamental changes to the ICT contract model already find it hard to determine the real impact and influence of ICT on market share and revenue growth. However, sometimes the simplest thing needs saying. A digital transformation program sounds daunting, but it can be made less so if the basic principles are worked out first within the business, kept simple, and then shared clearly with the managed services partner.
By David Molony, principal analyst, Enterprise, Ovum