In the past decade I have worked on an array of technology transformations. It seems the days of buying a bunch of IT ‘kit’, hiring an army of programmers, solution architects and network designers to build out your custom, bespoke platform are coming to an end.
Over the past three years, I haven’t worked on a single technology program that has been delivered ‘on premise’. I contrast that with the three years prior and not a single technology program I worked on was delivered ‘as-a-service’; inertia and uncertainty meant many organisations were unwilling to take the plunge and become service delivered and cloud enabled. This inertia and uncertainty has faded.
The transition in technology delivery has drastically changed the capabilities an organisation needs to successfully lead transformation activities. The mass of technologists are being moved on; replaced with experts who deeply understand business impact and the required change management activities to drive business and technology transformation across the organisation.
The classic three-to-five year large technology transformation program would appear to be dying. Organisations have learnt well from past failures and continue to apply these valuable lessons, meaning technology transformation is no longer looked at in isolation. Clever organisations are working to deeply understand the implications of technology change, using this to examine how their overall operating model can be improved and viewing any technology change as an opportunity to improve the lives of their people, make processes more efficient and add cool customer-facing technology.
The role of customer facing digital technology is becoming the heart of transformation conversations. Executives and leaders are seeking to understand how business and technology change will help them better understand the customer and provide products and services which delight. The ‘so what’ question of technology is continually being asked as organisations seek to confirm how investment in people, process and technology will attract, expand or retain customers.
My recent experience leads to five key observations of what is happening in the marketplace right now:
- Increased number of transformations focused on customer experience and enabling the digital enterprise.
- Changing IT operating models and service delivery to support enhanced customer experience and value.
- Continued focus on moving to ‘as-a-service’ solutions to enable rapid response to customer needs.
- Leveraging enterprise applications as critical components of the customer experience agenda.
- Deeper insights into customers, segments and trends via data & analytics.
Technology transformation is changing. It is quickly evolving to focus on enhancing the customer experience and growing the business. Technology decisions are being evaluated via ‘the lens of the customer’. Organisations are being challenged to become customer-centric and businesses are relying on new insight to unlock high-value customers and segments.
John F. Kennedy said “change is the law of life and those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future”.
Don’t let your business and technology transformation repeat what doesn’t work today. Innovate and determine how your customers will be delighted now and into the future.