Bringing IT up to business speed. Part 3: Cultural change

In the third in a series of three posts, James Tay, CEO Logicalis Asia, looks at the second transformation that IT departments must undertake if they are to acquire an accelerated capacity to respond to business need – a cultural transformation.

In the first post in this series, I explained first how the consumerisation of IT is shaping a new kind of relationship between business and IT, and in the second looked at the first transformational step that IT functions must take if they are to meet the new challenges that it brings – the transformation of core infrastructure.

The second transformation is arguably more important, and more difficult to achieve. It is in essence a cultural change, a shift in attitude.

First, in order to make the successful transition to the Service Defined Infrastructure and ‘IT by Wire’, CIOs must adopt more than a new operational model; they must also adopt a new set of principles.

These include:

  • Focus on delivering a 360° user experience
  • Operate every IT platform with business outcomes as the primary KPI
  • Define Services. Deliver what your line-of-business wants to buy
  • Adopt pre-validated platforms as the first choice for internal IT architectures
  • Automate, Automate, Automate: experiences, processes and platforms
  • Position IT as the internal service provider rather than technology fixers 

In aggregate, those principles add up to a focus on the internal customer, not technology. The service defined IT department will put internal customers at the core of their operations – technologies and services will be the means to the end, but the primary focus will be on business outcomes.

That focus will leave CIOs to make a straightforward choice. In striving to deliver a better workplace experience, mobility experience, information experience and application experience, CIOs can compete with the market, or they can harness the market.

The reality of course is that this is no real choice at all. The business has decided that it likes what it sees in the open market and it wants to embrace technology consumerism. Therefore, choosing to harness and manage the market as part of a Service Defined Infrastructure must be a big part of the answer.

The CIO can build a new environment that matches the agility and speed available in the open market, but no internal environment can hope to compete with the scale of the public cloud. Therefore, the only sensible and sustainable strategy must be to build and manage a hybrid portfolio that combines best-in-class in-house and cloud-based IT services. And that portfolio will evolve constantly.

Make no mistake, embracing that kind of openness will require a significant shift in mindset, but it will be worthwhile. CIOs who truly deliver the Service Defined Infrastructure and 'IT by Wire' model will redefine IT as a customer centric operator that is, for the first time, truly able to deliver at the speed of business.

Tags IT Leadership, Culture, IT leaders, IT trends, CIO, IT Trends, IT executives, Cultural Change, Business Strategy