Today, most organisations are undertaking a digital transformation journey to innovate across products, services, and business models. CIOs and technology leaders have been struggling to keep up with the insatiable demand for new digital capabilities from their business stakeholders. In fact, many have been watching their business counterparts increasingly turn to external providers for technology enablement. In response, some CIOs have adopted multi-speed IT, increased their use of agile methodologies, or even created standalone digital units separate from the traditional IT organisation.
But these are only stop-gap measures. What’s really needed is an entirely new IT operating model, breaking down the traditional technology silos and acquiring new skills.
Organisations are embracing digital to obtain efficiencies and also to align behind the digital promise to engage with their customers. Increasingly, customers are seeking new channels to interact with organisations for new products, advice and servicing. Organisations are consequently seeking to imbed these new digital services as a way of working and that means a rethink on how they structure their IT operations, methods of working and the teams they employ.
To do this they must embrace three key initiatives, which KPMG has observed in businesses globally. Businesses must undertake a broker role, integrator role and orchestrator role.
As a broker, organisations must shape demand, leverage innovation and promote the portfolio of capabilities in new IT functions. This is true of organisations both large and small, with the difference being that smaller companies may not have access to big IT budgets and because they have probably invested heavily in existing technology, do not have the same degree of flexibility. This means they must prioritise, select what needs to change first and then onboard subsequent changes in IT sequentially over time. This will often occur with external, third party assistance, as many smaller organisations do not have a CIO.
Integration is the second phase. First you need to modernise the core – organisations can’t integrate into old back-end systems such as finance and customer systems – and increasingly invest in cloud-based technology. This is both highly configurable to individual business needs and cheaper for mid-market operations. And by creating an open architecture (imagine all the different pieces of a jigsaw puzzle being one shape and one colour), this will support the ease of operations and connectivity.
Again, this process will be gradual for the mid-market. There are many choices available, so choose the platform that aligns best with your operations. It’s important to ask: what are the greatest needs and the most beneficial outcomes for your organisation?
Finally, you need to orchestrate the new IT so it’s delivered as a service. That means managing the ecosystem capability, protecting the enterprise and monitoring performance. This includes managing financial performance and reporting, and looking at data that will provide leading indicators to the business for more informed decisions.
Of course safeguarding data and securing your business is vital. Make sure you know who is accessing your systems and that the data you hold on your customers is secure.
IT is constantly evolving. For the mid-market, orchestration is probably the most important element as it enables organisations to work cohesively with the third parties who will explain the role of the broker and drive integration. This is because few mid-market organisations have such capabilities in-house.
No-one has a crystal ball to predict what’s next in the digital (r)evolution. However, by putting these three steps in place, mid-market businesses will be well placed to face the shifting sands of the IT landscape.
Guy Holland, National Leader – Digital Consulting, Technology & Performance, KPMG and Brad Miller, Partner, National Leader Advisory, KPMG Enterprise