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How Lean IT Paves over the IT-Business Gap

We have talked about the IT-business gap for years, and yet we still see this chronic problem lingering around. Indeed, experts have been giving advice to bridge this gap by highly prioritizing it in every company, but little helps when technology keeps changing like a whirlwind today. Part of the reason stems from the disruption of the traditional enterprise IT model caused by four revolutionary forces—digital, elevated CIO mandates, de-globalization, and cloud computing. Indeed, we often see the common scenarios where IT works hard to transform their digital capabilities, but their ideas are not appealing enough to the business, or their allowed budgets for new digital development become fairly tight after spending on technical debt and other operations fees. Where is the way out here? Hakan Altintepe examines this in an article for CIO.com.

An Alternative Model for a Better Relationship

IT is no longer just about delivering reliable solutions within budget and on time, but it has risen to the business level to create a competitive advantage through innovations and rapid delivery. We are always in need of a more developed model that can utilize agile and differentiate business from other competitors. Altintepe espouses the lean IT model, which can generate a 9-to-15 percent productivity improvement at the top line of enterprise IT. Within the context of IT-business interactions, lean IT can transform your practices in two ways:

  1. A direct link from IT decisions to business outcomes: With more options for digital approaches and tools, like agile, DevOps and XaaS, IT-business interactions are facilitated. At the end, individual IT decisions can be made with more accuracy and connection with business purposes.
  2. A culture of continuous improvement: In the traditional model, performance targets are benchmark-based. Benchmarking is ideal to ensure efficiency and reliability, but it doesn’t help with agility and speed enhancement. This is where lean IT can make a difference, as continuous improvement is the lean IT response to benchmarking.

The ultimate question that you may wonder is probably if this is something worth your efforts. No one is sure about this, but maintaining the status quo is surely not safe, either. Altintepe says that this is actually not a trivial task, so he offers some tips:

  • Start small with light-way, time-boxed opportunity assessments. A systemic look into existing IT practices and operational results would reveal where the best opportunities are.
  • A well-guided program should grow commensurate to demonstrated business value potential, start generating value after six months and become cost-neutral within 12 months.
  • Expected benefits include increased business impact of IT, a feasible migration path from legacy to digital, and a way to win back the commitment of a capable workforce.
  • Industry disruptions often brew slowly but decisively, and history shows that procrastinators are often penalized heavily — e.g., GM vs. Toyota, Blockbuster vs. Netflix and, most recently, Target vs. Amazon.

You can view the original article here: http://www.cio.com/article/3175501/business-alignment/is-the-business-it-gap-intentional.html

About My Nguyen

My is a staff writer for AITS. She has a varied background in writing and marketing, having previously worked for the World & Vietnam Report among others.

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