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King’s College London Journey into Business Technology

BT Capability Model

Business Technology meets King's College London

It was at a London CIO dinner in 2018 that I (Nick Russell – founder Xonetic and contributing author to BT) had set up to have one of the first conversations in London with senior members of the IT community. Myself and Juha Houvinen (founder of the Business Technology Forum) wondered if experiences in the Nordics would transfer readily to the complexities that many organisations face further away from the artic circle.

Over the course of the next hour it became obvious that our belief in an open source standard set to address areas of technology where there is no overarching common language or framework was well placed. Many of the senior leaders present expressed concern that although everyone shared the same goals of digitalisation, customer focus and technology efficiency, there was little in the way of a common approach. Certainly nothing that was available for all to consume and contribute to.

A community led approach

Where the Business Technology model is unique is that it has been created over a 10 year period with the help of at least 50 companies, who all believed in the idea of contributing to a common and professional approach to technology. The BT forum which is a non-profit organisation, is a neutral party that can take the work performed in sometimes competing organisations and distil it to find best practice which is industry and organisation agnostic.

Nick Leake (CIO for King’s College London) was immediately interested to understand if the Business Technology Model could be placed alongside King’s Operating Model (KOM) which itself had been developed over a multi year period.

Kings College London

Analysis and the start of the journey

In the months that followed this first meeting, John Butterworth (Director – Office of the CIO and all-round operating model guru) and I worked hard to understand each other’s approaches and thinking. We performed a detailed analysis and discovered that in many places the thinking was similar, and in most cases the Business Technology model provided consistency and clarity on top of global practice and frameworks (such as ITIL, SAFe, COBIT and SFIA). 

“When we discovered the Business Technology Standard after many years reviewing, learning and qualifying in other frameworks and standards we realised we had found something unique but very similar to what we had already created ourselves. In our view, the BTS amalgamates and synthesises the best aspects of many other frameworks and standards into a cohesive, integrated way to manage technology in a modern, complex organisation. Adopting the Standard for us was relatively easy as we were already working with something similar based on aspects of other frameworks. However, we didn’t want the overhead of having to maintain our own equivalent of the Standard – particularly as the Standard is better than what we had developed"

Nick Leake - CIO King's College London

A partnership was born

Over the next two years, Xonetic and King’s College London worked very closely to adopt, educate, inform and entertain the university IT community. Xonetic strived to bring knowledge, support and innovation for example our Dev-Ops simulation Day. I always enjoy the Dev-Ops sim because it is an incredibly effective way for people to visualise what Dev-Ops and Value Streams really mean in practice. King’s brought a huge appetite to understand the model, begin the adoption process, and then work with us to expand into industry specific areas where the BT model purposefully does not tread.

The approach has at all times been led by King’s, supported by Xonetic and the Business Technology Forum. A journey such as this cannot be seen as a simple project, but an approach to life which takes time to mature, and evolves continuously.

The Business Technology Forum provides a way for the Standard to be developed and improved in a collaborative way and to support the most difficult aspect of any framework or standard which is implementation and adoption. Xonetic are an excellent implementation and advisory partner who can accelerate this most difficult undertaking and we have enjoyed working with them.

Nick Leake - CIO - King's College London

The future

King’s College London has now taken the next step to join the BT Forum as a Core collaborator. This is exciting as our shared vision is to bring the BT journey to a wider audience. King’s feel the Higher Education sector could really benefit from the powerful knowledge within the Business Technology Standard coupled with some sector specific additional knowledge.

At Xonetic I am committed to acting as the pathfinder for new organisations, helping them to make their way into the Standard. I would encourage anyone with an interest to reach out, get in touch, and we will help you learn more, at a pace that suits you.

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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