The IT Delivery gap is a phrase that’s gained quite a bit of popularity in the recent years. The phrase itself is self-explanatory. What’s not so intuitive is the reason why the gap we’re referring to has emerged across all industries and why it continues to get wider and wider in many organizations.
What is the IT delivery gap?
The reality is we live in an incredibly fast-paced world, even compared to only a few years ago. There’s an expectation for everything to be connected and in sync. Organizations feel the pressure to deliver better mobile applications for the customer, connect with partners in a more efficient way, and create better processes to help their employees be more productive. And who, if anybody, has the capabilities to accomplish such tasks? Well, who else other than IT?
The problem here is not that IT isn’t capable. The problem is IT doesn’t have the capacity under the current, old-fashion IT model most companies are operating under. The old IT model is rigid and stringent, just like an out-of-shape old man doing yoga for the very first time. The truth is it hasn’t evolved fast enough to keep up with the digital transformation age where Software is used everywhere in the business to perform almost every function.
Line of business executives throw all kinds of digital initiatives at the IT team, all of which must be completed with the utmost urgency. Therefore, IT is responsible for an ever-growing laundry list of projects, all with ever-approaching deadlines, which is increasingly difficult to manage with the existing amount of resources. And this demand doesn’t stop, it keeps pushing upwards from emerging trends such as omnichannel, supply chain, customer analytics, and IoT. As the demand keeps growing, the ability and capacity to meet it diminish significantly.
What is the solution?
What’s needed is to increase both speed and scale, and to do that, a new operating model for IT and the business is required. No longer can it simply view itself as the entity that delivers technology projects; it needs to think about itself more as an enabler that allows LoB IT to self-serve. IT cannot afford to get bogged down with the huge pressure to deliver everything to every area of the business.
IT needs to focus on enabling self-service assets and make them more consumable and reusable by the rest of the organization. This is how an organization achieves agility.
Imagine a franchise business like your favorite fast-food chain. It has core assets such as recipes, retail layouts, and marketing offers, which it packages for reuse and self-service by their franchises. Amazon has done something similar by creating core reusable services for its vendors and partners on the platform—shipping, payments, inventory management, web presence, product search, returns, the list goes on and on. By leveraging the resources and capabilities outside of central IT, organizations can increase their delivery speed and capacity. This is the only way that IT can achieve the agility necessary to meet the demands of doing business in the modern world.
An example of IT delivering business agility would be enabling different channels of online purchasing. You need a website and a mobile app, but what if you want to extend your eCommerce capability to offer in-store pick up and in doing so, give consumers visibility into inventory stock at local stores.
Another example of business agility is expanding the communication channels through which you can promote your products or services. You might want to send personalized e-mails, but lots of other channels exist that people might want to use to communicate with you like messaging apps or social media networks.
The trick is not to see these as separate problems that you figure out a solution for and then move on but to recognize them as a common base of small problems for which the same set of solutions exists. This is a more agile and smarter way of responding to the various needs of the business.
These are strategies implemented by successful organizations in recent years. The one thing they all have in common is they’re all working under a new IT operating model, one that shortens the IT delivery gap.
Now, we understand this is a challenge. And the reason it’s challenging is that this change in operating model is as much of a people problem as it is a technological one. It’s hard to see the big picture when you’re in the middle of a storm of meeting deadlines and delivering entire projects. But the first step is to recognize that this is a problem but a solution exists. Change is possible. Transformation is possible, it just requires a shift in mindset.
Our aim at NEWTOMS is to introduce you to a new way of thinking and offer a prescription for how to create change. We are happy to discuss how you can approach these trends and offer recommendations on your capabilities of responding to change and embrace digital transformation. Feel free to contact us, we respond to any request 24/7 because our staff is strategically located around the globe. We speak English, Spanish, and Filipino. Please contact us for more information.
Winston J Rivero Jr. graduated in two careers: Finance & Marketing from Georgia State University in 2012 – He's currently the Director of Business Development in North America and leads the Content Marketing Strategy for NEWTOMS