The Curb Appeal of your Catalog March 8, 2016 No Comments
Performing regular application rationalization presents countless opportunities for organizations to recover waste, reduce costs and add efficiency. Although large enterprise platforms are beholden to these rationalization projects, they are often overlooked as out-of-scope.
This is usually because removing the platform has disastrous results for the customer experience.These platforms are low-hanging fruit for organizations to save millions in operations costs.
The choices you make today, drastically impact your ability to be flexible and vendor neutral tomorrow.
Thanks to several years of customer experience being a fad (and now a trend), many software manufacturers are refactoring and struggling to decrease switching costs while still providing you value.
Ideally each of your business partners and software suppliers should be working with you to decrease time to value and increase value.
Scoping Technology Differently, Differentiates February 29, 2016 No Comments
tl;dr (too long, didn’t read) – Switching to the latest toolset just catches you up to competitors, it doesn’t take you past them. If your goal is differentiation and increasing value past “par” then design for rapid technology change, perform regular system evaluations and have an honest and transparent tool selection processes.
Your enterprise has several platforms that are capable of accomplishing literally anything. With enough development these systems can likely perform many business functions. But should they? Just because your jackknife has a saw doesn’t mean you will enjoy using it; there may be a better tool.
How can you tell what each system should do? Enter the “Enterprise Architect” (EA), this person is essentially a business analyst and technologist, and hopefully has a great deal of understanding how systems fit together. They are ready to tell you which tools should do which tasks. They do this by analyzing toolsets and balancing the goal of optimizing value while decreasing overhead. For instance, building an intranet site for department use on SAP is going to take quite a bit of customization and org-change, while Sharepoint is built for this purpose (and your company already has a license). Bring them your goals.
This applies to all functional areas. Daily work in human resources (HR) handles aspects of talent and career paths, these functions are unique to this team and have specific tools that work great for this space. Building something from scratch is not a wise investment and can lead quickly to waste and missed opportunity. But if the organization is a talent agency, it’s likely they have a custom system for managing people. This is their differentiation.
So what happens when new tools or demands are raised? Enter the “Business Relationship Manager” (BRM), this role is essentially a business analyst with great listening and persuasion skills. These people partner with the architects mentioned above to make things happen – this can mean pushing features that didn’t exist before, switching platforms or finding better data sources or integrations.
In the HR example above you can quickly see how HR uses these features and technology to differentiate their value. They are collectively better as they improve and iterate their tools and processes. Perhaps their toolset allows them to cross-reference LinkedIn data with compensation, or compare performance with career path; whatever the case, if there is business value in quality talent, enabling these toolsets is the goal. This should be clear to the BRM and Architect alike, and they should know whether the talent management system can handle an integration of that sort. Maybe they get a business intelligence app involved or just work slowly toward this goal.
This applies broadly across the enterprise. If you aren’t able to differentiate, you run the risk of missed value and ultimately irrelevancy. As technology continues to be the differentiator of choice, the importance of having quality Architects and BRMs increases. Getting quality masterful value out of your toolsets is their sweet spot.
How Come Our Culture Isn’t Better? February 18, 2016 No Comments
How Come There Are No New Ideas? February 10, 2016 No Comments
Everything’s already been tried.We just aren’t a very innovative company.
Where Do Ideas Come From? February 5, 2016 No Comments
Pioneering Change with Learning and Courage January 28, 2016 2 Comments
“Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn”
Thirty years ago the Challenger Space shuttle exploded as America watched in shock and horror. This tragedy was perhaps one of the biggest speed bumps in our humanity’s progress toward furthering space exploration.
The men and women who gave their lives that day were the brave pioneers that took the biggest risk for their team. And how did we respond? By mourning, remembering and honoring them by continuing to fail well on our path toward space exploration.
The amount of planning, work, engineering and money that led up to the mission was massive. The amount of review work, post failure; also massive. These are all the costs of innovative change. The political leadership, development of NASA and funding of the space program; all of these things might seem impossible if they hadn’t been done yet. And they hadn’t. So how did we get here?
Human beings traveling to space was unthinkable.
Without starting there is no failure. Without failure we will never succeed in something that was once unthinkable. Why? Because failure offers us the best opportunity to learn and evolve.
So how did we get to that point? How does a group of people start exploring the unknown? How do we start taking the right path toward failure? And once we fail, how do we learn and adjust?
No matter what your goal is, having the right team is where you start. Once you’ve got the necessary people, just start. Talk about what you are going to try, and don’t forget to discuss the elephant in the room: how will you respond to failure?
Do everything you can to plan and account for failure in all you try. Because failure is eminent, including it in your planning means you get to decide how you react. Planning on putting in a business critical system? How flexible does it need to be to account for new situations? What happens when your system goes down? Does it completely destroy your ability to be productive?
Is there a better way? If so, you’ll probably learn it during your journey.
Eight Top CIO Concerns for 2016: Research and Resources December 28, 2015 No Comments
Rapid business change combined with the increasing importance of technology across all aspects of business operations have raised the profile of the CIO role—as well as the challenges.
And with close to half of all current CIOs now in their 50s and 60s, the coming decade will see not just significant changes to this role, but also to the backgrounds and perspectives of the people coming into those jobs.
Summarizing the report’s findings for InformationWeek, Jessica Davis writes that the report provides a “snapshot of (today’s) CIOs…(along with) insights into the technologies their organizations regard as essential today” and offers a close “look at what’s on the minds of these key executives.”
Three Key Takeaways from the 2016 State of IT Report December 21, 2015 No Comments
As 2015 winds down, IT leaders and their teams are looking at internal needs and external conditions in formulating plans and setting budget priorities for the coming year.
The recently released 2016 State of IT Report from Spiceworks provides a wealth of information about how IT teams are formulating plans for the year ahead.
The report covers IT budgets, spending and staffing plans; the trends and concerns keeping IT pros up at night; and a look forward at technology adoption trends.
Among the abundance of facts and stats presented, here are three noteworthy findings, along with additional observations.
IT pros will “need to keep doing more… with less.” (Here’s one strategy to help.)
One of the key top-level conclusions reported by Spiceworks is: “IT pros don’t expect their IT staff to increase in 2016, which means they’ll need to keep doing more… with less.”
At the same time, more than half of IT organizations say “end-user need” is a key purchase driver.