Situations abound where a business could use supplemental C-level IT expertise to get through a transitory period of change. Maybe you’re between CIOs, or your senior IT leader needs some temporary executive-level help. Maybe the executive team needs some strategic IT advice, or the IT department needs a “shot in the arm” to get to the next level or deliver a new capability.
Flexible access to CIO-level expertise on part-time or temporary basis can serve to strengthen your IT function. Staffing services or consulting firms will provide a resource to cover strategic and/or tactical IT leadership needs. The resource can help with a short-term transition, organizational change, or other executive-level responsibility. Such a solution provides a viable and affordable option when an expert IT Leader is needed to augment the IT team or the business executive team.
The role of IT in a merger or acquisition is crucial. When an M&A event is assessed properly for IT risks, benefits, and transition requirements, the implications of the deal become more transparent and disruption to the business is minimized. IT’s involvement in M&As can decrease costs, maximize deal value, and uncover synergies. And that’s all before the papers are signed!
Here is our IT playbook, including what to expect from IT during each of the 6 stages of the M&A lifecycle:
A Value Stream Mapping (VSM) workshop is designed to plan process improvements by mapping the current flow of information and materials, generating an ideal future state for that flow, and putting forth a high-level plan to achieve the future state.
Here is a tutorial explaining the process and expected outcomes from a VSM workshop:
You’ll invest a significant amount of time and resources defining your needs, seeking out promising candidates, and evaluating options. You’ll need to clearly communicate what the organization needs, and what level of performance you will expect.
Then, if you start working together and feel like it’s not a good match, the relationship could turn sour. And if you can’t turn it around, getting out of an outsourcing commitment is not easy—especially once the resource has amassed an in-depth knowledge of your processes and systems.
Quantitatively, 50% of companies feel their outsourced suppliers are reactive, not proactive; 40% experience a lack of innovation and underqualified resources; and 30% suffer high attrition and costs. (Source: Deloitte)
To mitigate risk, I recommend the following systematic approach to ensure you pick the best outsourcing vendors for your organization. I have used this process on many occasions with great success.
IT departments have been outsourcing for decades. At the same time, there are many organizations who still perform most of their IT services with internal resources. Whether you’re a first timer or have years of experience outsourcing, you should constantly review and update your sourcing approach as part of your IT strategy to ensure you are positioned to support your company’s objectives.
Innovation is an imperative for all organizations, and particularly IT. With that imperative comes the need to fail fast.
In Fail Fast or Win Big, Bernard Schroeder writes that it is not just leadership, culture, and technology that make for a successful startup, but also speed and timing. It has become easier to launch prototypes and get instant feedback via such tools that range from free online tools, social media, crowdfunding, and crowdsourcing. Startups can learn faster and pivot to new options, thus reducing the risk of outright failure.
Entrepreneurs have reached an extraordinarily high maturity level of innovation and failing fast. Startup methodologies have been honed in the US and globally, making small innovators big threats to established enterprises. As a result, larger companies are adopting startup methodologies—including fail fast—for themselves. Unfortunately, many IT organizations are laggards in this regard.
IT should be leading the way. If we don’t, we will be asked to get out of the way!
We believe the only way for an IT governance function to affect the execution of a strategy is to cascade the governance function. When middle management from IT and the business participate in governance, great things happen.