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The growing importance of business IT in digitalisation, transformation and making your company ready for tomorrow

Evolution of methodologies and applications within IT

As you’ve all heard, there has been great progress the past years in relation to technology. Change has been more important than ever and terms like agile, scrum and lean are a bigger part than they’ve ever been before.

Now what does this mean for IT in company environments? Thanks to the quick growth on processing power, data availability through usage of cloud services and a lot more opportunities on scalability and adaptability there’s been new movements in corporate environments. Applications have become more fluid, adaptable and must be tailored very precisely to match business needs.

Long gone are the classic applications that used to be a one-fix for all. And welcome to the new applications that are custom made and custom developed to fit the most complex requirements. It’s even hard to imagine a life where all those handy applications aren’t within your reach on your mobile phone.

Next to the change in the capabilities we can deliver with the applications that are being used there’s also a change in methodologies that are used to deliver those products & solutions. A great shift has been happening and continues to happen from the more classic project management approaches like PRINCE2 & waterfall towards agile & scrum.

This enables us to be more flexible and adaptable in what we deliver. And by using a smart combination of those methodologies and techniques we’re able to deliver the service & products that the business really needs.

The ever-evolving IT operations landscape

With great power comes great responsibility and with more data comes more data analysis. In the past we often strived to simply get a user interface up for reporting but long gone are those days.
Nowadays the smallest device can be made a “smart IT device” thanks to the big flow of IoT and Industry 4.0.

The so called fourth industrial revolution has moved our focus from only automating the production process towards capturing and analysing all relevant data that’s needed.

By capturing this data and analysing this correctly we’re now able to assist and empower our business side with lots of new possibilities and a lot more data-driven decision making to improve the processes we currently have running. A couple of advantages we’re getting with data analysis are reducing waste, predictive maintenance, on-demand supply, and generally a better tailoring of production processes to fit the consumer their needs.

Being aware of what data is available is of utmost importance as almost 90% of the data that is generated is never used.
The so called “dark data” is generated but not analysed when it could be a benefit to the business. A couple of examples here would be log files, account information, sensor data, etc.

Times are gone where data was captured in a limited number of places. Nowadays communication and interfacing between multiple devices is important to make sure data is processed correctly and the right information is being delivered to the right people.

Guiding role of business IT in digitalisation and transformation

Even though the new technologies and the availability of those technologies have developed at a rapid rate, there’s not only opportunities that show up on the horizon. With the opportunities presented there are also some pitfalls that we must look out for. And it’s exactly there where business IT will play a pivotal role in guiding the business side towards digitalization and transformation.

With IoT there are a lot of nicely custom-made solutions that can go as simple as purchasing a raspberry PI or other solutions to capture data. This does mean that there must be rules and governance in place to guide over these newly implemented solutions.
This brings a risk of initiatives popping up like mushrooms with no real control on what’s being developed in the organization.

First, there’s a certain architecture that must be adhered to as well as security and privacy legislation like GDPR. We don’t only want to capture and analyse data. We also want to ensure that our data is being kept secure and that it’s in line with GPDR, so privacy is respected and maintained. One those solutions have been put into place by teams of analysts, project leaders and technical specialists there must be rules in place to ensure the best possible quality is being delivered to the end-users of these solutions.

The creation of good service level agreements, operational level agreements and key performance indicators can be used to guard over that exact quality. Some of the questions that must be looked at before letting new solutions reach the business-as-usual status are the following:

What’s the required uptime of this application?
What’s the business impact when this service goes down?
Which processes and guidelines are in-place to move towards problem resolution?
How will request management, incident management, change management be handled?

Setting up proper expectations, support models and guidelines ensures that there’s a way to monitor the performance of the solutions that were delivered and to continuously improve those services.

IT is moving from supporting technology & data the business towards helping the business in their road towards assisting in strategy in regard to digital transformation.

Preparing for the road ahead

To implement all these new technologies, there’s also a lot of preparation that must be done to be ready for this change.
Organizations need to mature and implement changes step-by-step to grow at their pace.

In early stages there will often be focused on what these changes could mean in regard to cost reduction, but later down the road this can shift to improving the customer their experience and decision making. Eventually leading into a fundamental transformation of the processes like we know them today.

The risks may seem big today, but the biggest risk that we run is not moving at all and falling behind in a landscape of competitors that use automatization, automation and technologies like AI. to make sure they have the edge in an ever-evolving industry and world.

This means that both the employees as well as leadership needs to invest on getting the correct awareness and skills in the organization to become more digitally aware and to get the maximum benefit out of all these new technologies to help their business move into tomorrow.

The road may seem long, but the outcome will be worth it.

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