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Old vs. New IT: Innovate and Drive Disruption or Face Irrelevance

If your business is stuck in the old IT paradigm, prepare to be steamrolled. Bob Dvorak writes for Wired’s Innovation Insights about the digital knockout blow that is coming from IT units who can deliver five to ten times the business capabilities per unit of operating cost. These agile and efficient innovators have dumped their unneeded assets for speed, accuracy and unified delivery of business value.

Sustainable to Transient Advantage

Most companies are already somewhat dated, along with their IT infrastructure. It is therefore imperative to recognize the importance of eliminating unnecessary costs to make way for digital disruption. Whereas the Old IT model was satisfied to maintain a sustainable competitive advantage, the New IT paradigm demands transient competitive advantage, with new innovations seized upon in small windows of opportunity in a continual digital ‘leap-frog.’

Business Value IT

As innovation and digital business capabilities (New IT) begin to hedge out systems of record and operating costs (Old IT), the IT outfit becomes a valuable business asset rather than just a “requirement”:

Business leaders have gotten smarter about what they want from technology. They expect new digital capabilities and value-chains. If IT fails to offer these new business capabilities — better targeting, data analytics, a more agile business, just to name a few — it’s simply acknowledging irrelevance.

Measuring IT Success: Buy-Hold-Sell

One way to measure the value of an IT asset is under the auspices of a buy-hold-sell portfolio. The “buy” applications are those that will inevitably expand the business, with “hold” signaling an IT necessity to preserve at minimum cost. The “sell” spec signals a need to liquidate the asset, to cut it loose. The point is that companies of the New IT paradigm are committed to using metrics and analytics to gauge their performance, rather than speculation.

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About Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master's degree in communications at Penn State University.

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