Sometimes, the digital transformation process does not start with spectacular fireworks. Rather, the secret prerequisite for the digital transformation is a transformed internal IT environment. The question of the hour: How can companies with a modern IT organization and process infrastructure lay the foundation for the digital transformation?
Based on our experience, this topic often does not receive the attention it deserves. But why is that? Maybe because it concerns tasks that were already known previously, but that are becoming critical to the business now. While many large companies have already progressed in this area, medium-sized companies still have some catching up to do, even though most medium-sized companies are well positioned when it comes to their IT organizations. But considerable potential for improvements exists with the establishment of a service-oriented IT environment. Therefore this is not so much about (a lack of) technological competence, but rather about establishing the organizational skills to ensure that one does not miss the digital train, so to speak.
A typical example - the supplier company
A supplier company manufactures sensors for the automotive industry, and it has already made a lot of progress with its product IT and production IT.
The company continues to acquire smaller companies in the industry. With that, it also acquired the differently developed structures of each of these companies, which have remained. To date, none of the companies is well integrated; at best, simple infrastructure services such as storage or networks have been rolled out.
The internal (office) IT operates in the shadows, and is actually only administered - leading the IT organization into a new age and to a new key position is not perceived as a leadership task.
To be able to introduce new digital services such as analytics, big data, IoT or Industry 4.0, the supplier company's IT must be modernized as quickly as possible - now things get hectic!
And it gets worse: The lack of integration and consolidation of the different IT departments at the acquired companies stands in the way of being able to offer the new digital services across the entire company.
Just like the supplier company, many medium-sized businesses are still a long way from organizing their IT systems properly, finding the right partners and creating real added value for their business. So what needs to be done?
The digital transformation adds even more urgency to the existing IT homework
The future orientation of IT as a modern process organization is always a major task that needs to be completed. The task becomes even more urgent, and downright non-negotiable, for creating the internal conditions for the digital transformation. Here, we see a minimum program consisting of three action fields (see also illustration):