Companies like Amazon, Airbnb, Netflix, and others carved out huge market share by being at the forefront of innovation. They created astonishing market changes by delivering products and services that enticed customers to abandon their previous choices, even for similar or the same products and services. Functionally, what was delivered to the customer wasn’t necessarily different … watching a rented video at home … paying for a ride from here to there … sleeping in a room overnight when away from home.
What did change was how people accessed, received or interacted with the product or service. And, that’s where mobile, social media, cloud and other newer technologies came in. These companies leveraged technology in new ways to satisfy changing customer desires without necessarily inventing new technology themselves, but using it to re-envision existing markets.
Many are how using the verb ‘blockbustered’ to describe this phenomenon.
There are more than a few execs who are losing sleep at night, wondering if their company isn’t able to innovate enough to stay ahead and if they’ll be blockbustered. They are overstressed trying to come up with the right roadmap to insure not just their survival, but new growth and profitability … they want to be the new Instagram, Tesla, or Venmo.
For most companies today, IT is the key. If your IT department isn’t able to support business needs as they evolve at light speed … if it can’t provide new technology (or bring technology together in new ways) to gather customers and partners closer to you … if it doesn’t transform from an antiquated cost center to helping generate new revenues … you may face a very rapid decline.
In the past, IT provided technology resources for the company, but how and what IT offered wasn’t always based on what business groups … who were trying to develop and improve products and services to go to market faster … really needed.
Fast forward to today, when the very best IT teams are agile enough to evolve and adapt what they provide to the business, so that innovation is fostered and enabled throughout the company. This innovation drives new revenue streams, increases profits, reduces risk and creates a thriving, competitive company.
So, how do the very smartest companies make the transition?
Because IT drives most businesses today, IT portfolio management is often a key step in business transformation. Most IT departments have to deal with legacy applications, more requests than they can fulfill, limited budgets, shadow IT and many versions of the same application across department lines. Compounding these needs is the fact that the entire business has to embrace digital technologies to push forward and stay competitive in its markets.
IT portfolio management helps you evaluate the business value, cost, risk and performance of each IT asset and create a roadmap that shows how to add and retire technologies at the right time. It helps streamline and predict IT investments, and avoid costly redundancies or obsolescence.
But, IT can only be transformed if you take a strategic approach and use a proven methodology and the right tools. IT portfolio management and enterprise architecture used to be considered as tools to sort out duplicate applications and a confusing maze of operational processes.
Today, however, both have become strategic assets necessary to unite IT with processes and business needs, allowing companies to meet new digital goals. It is the way companies are making sure they are not ‘blockbustered’.
After the IT portfolio is on sound footing and can better support innovation on the business side, an enterprise architecture initiative takes the company fully into business transformation. Enterprise architecture provides the comprehensive overview of the organization, allowing you to establish an innovative vision, improve business processes, optimize operating frameworks, build transition plans and foresee the impacts of change.
With this knowledge, you can respond faster to market changes and opportunities and determine how to change company operations to meet business needs.
The digital age has ushered in more changes faster than any other technological advance of the past century. To manage them properly, and insure that you aren’t blockbustered, it’s past the time to embrace the new digital era.