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How Integrated Technology Can Boost Your Business

Business growth, fuelled by digital innovation, has led to greater proliferation of technology across organisations. This trend will continue to accelerate, meaning an organisation’s traditional IT department can no longer act as the only gatekeeper to Information Technology.

What is needed is a new model to support the new era of Information Technology; one that is driven by business and customer needs, and is able to answer the key question: ‘Am I applying technology in the most effective way possible to deliver customer value?’

That’s where the Business Technology Standard and support from Xonetic comes in. Business Technology provides a strategy for organising and coordinating technology management across the entire organisation. Importantly, it recognises how closer integration can deliver real business benefits.

New challenges for IT

When Information Technology was introduced to businesses over 30 years ago, it was such a specialised topic that organisations created new departments with the remit and responsibility for managing it. This resulted in the birth of the ‘IT department’, which was seen by many as a pure support function and separate from ‘the business’.

But new advances in digital have made technology more widely available, meaning it can no longer be efficiently controlled by a single department. Technology is now likely to be found in many, if not all business areas. This in turn, has created new challenges for traditional IT functions.

Many business organisations are still stuck with the belief that the IT department should be in control, whereas the reality is that a broader range of skills are now needed.

Research shows that only 60% of IT spend is now owned by IT departments, which means that 40% is found in areas that do not necessarily have the skills to effectively realise the potential of Information Technology or understand how to manage it appropriately.

Furthermore, in many organisations there is no real partnership between the business and IT function to enable better business outcomes. Business leaders now face a challenge to ensure a culture of cooperation is embedded within the organisation and Information Technology management skills are applied in equal measure across all business units.

Creating a 'holistic approach'

The answer to these challenges is not just to enhance your IT or digital capability. Instead, organisations must build multi-disciplined teams from across the business to ensure the right skills are used in the right way. This means shifting mindsets and breaking down departmental silos that may exist.

For example, traditional IT teams may lack the marketing, sales and product development skills available elsewhere in the business. They may also lack customer focus and in the worst case, see other business units merely as users of the systems instead of stakeholders, or even owners of the system.

On the flipside, business units outside IT may not have the right skills to manage technology in a way that creates a good customer experience and avoids overspending or has the capability to select or build viable technical solutions that can be further developed in the future.

The Business Technology Standard recognises that technology exists within many areas of businesses today. It seeks to promote a cross-functional approach by focusing on three core areas:

Digital Frontline

Responsible for growing the business

Technology Backbone

Responsible for growing the business

Business Capabilities / Transformation

Responsible for growing the business

In practice this means the Chief Digital/Marketing Officer is able to source and manage 24/7 services; the CIO is able to prioritise and run digital development initiatives from a business perspective, and the business can continue to create new digital solutions that provide reliable services enabling it to build the capabilities and to execute transformation initiatives.

 

Simply put, the most effective and innovative businesses are those that cooperate and communicate within a holistic Business Technology organisation.

Moving with Agility

Organisations that apply an aggregated approach to technology across the business are likely to benefit in a number of ways, such as:

  • Avoiding overlapping of CDO and CIO competencies and functions.
  • Highlighting common goals and synergies shared by the CDO and CIO functions, enabling both to focus on their core competencies.

Providing a clear, consistent and concise business steering approach for both the CDO and CIO and their functions.

Closer integration is also likely to result in improved business agility i.e. enabling the organisation to respond to market changes quicker, reduce time to market and reduce product development cycles.

But by far the biggest beneficiary is the end user. Technology is ultimately for the benefit of the customer, ensuring that their needs and expectations are met by the organisation through the effective use of its technologies.

Get it right and the customer will remember how you were able to innovate and keep adding value, in the spirit of well-known disruptive companies such as Apple and Uber. 

Get it wrong and you run the risk of being remembered, like Blockbuster, Kodak or Polaroid, as the business that failed to keep pace and missed the opportunity to react and embrace new business models.

In this case, the whole (Business Technology) really is greater than the sum of its parts.

Find out how your business can benefit from Business Technology Standard, contact our business development team!

Get in touch

If you would like to find out more about how Business Technology can help you, then please fill out the form or contact us by: 

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Coach & Facilitator

ELENA VAN LEEMPUT

I like my work best when I can motivate and help other people. I constantly strive for excellence in everything I do and I’m open to different ideas that challenge my views. I believe in constant change which drives my innovative mindset. My background is both in technology and business with more than 15 years’ experience ranging from demand, development to service management. I enjoy taking initiative and carry out new ventures.

I try to keep things simple and bring my skills when I coach and facilitate to inspire people and help them innovate. I’m passionate about all forms of facilitation and coaching be it face-to-face or virtual facilitation. I also enjoy creating different e-learning training, holding innovation workshops and design thinking hackathons.

I also find it very important to nurture my creative side along the way (visual arts: photography, sketching, videography and all areas of design) through both my work and hobbies – which I’m happy to say I get to do often enough.

elena.van.leemput@sofigate.com

Coach & Facilitator

THOMAS HUGHES

I work as coach and facilitator in the Business Technology Academy. My focus is business simulation games such as the DevOps simulation. I consider myself a full-stack Business Technology professional of sorts. During the past 20+ years, I’ve worked in wide range of various IT and business management roles in and with organizations ranging from global enterprises to startups in a variety of industries.

I enjoy looking for new perspectives to phenomena and challenging myself and others to continuously develop ourselves and to expand our thinking. Being in the discomfort zone is the way to grow. As a coach I like to cross breed theoretical frameworks, practical examples, illuminating stories and humour. I see simulation games as a perfect way to combine these into an engaging and fun day.    

I enjoy exploring life through various projects and experiments. Some of these involve focused self-development both physically and mentally, while others focus more on creative aspirations related to areas like photography, writing and digital media.

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