Every IT organization navigates the IT Value Journey. This series of articles showed the shortest path from simply keeping the lights on to playing a transformational role. And we explained how, behind the processes and metrics, IT is really developing trust, credibility, and respect from the rest of the business while helping to increase revenue and profits.
We previously explained the three states along the IT Value Journey:
- Maintain – keep the lights on without delivering measurable business value
- Enhance – support the business with timely enhancements
- Transform – drive significant new business opportunities
The journey from Maintain to Enhance includes implementation of basic processes that improve IT service and enable us to measure IT performance. This is where IT begins to earn the trust, credibility, and respect to operate at a higher level.
In the Enhance state, IT is keeping up with necessary improvements to the infrastructure and systems. Using the metrics that were established in the journey from Maintain to Enhance, IT can show the value of their work in objective, verifiable dollar and cents terms. IT is improving service while reducing the cost of delivering that service by operating more efficiently and effectively. It is this measurability that earns IT the trust, credibility, and respect to actually drive new business opportunities.
The Transform state is the pinnacle of IT maturity. IT has earned the right to participate in key business decisions and to show the rest of the business how to leverage technology to create a differentiated customer experience and build, or extend, the competitive advantage.
Remember that it is easy to lose the trust, credibility, and respect that IT worked so hard to earn. In the Enhance and Transform states, IT must live in the spirit of continuous improvement. Watch the processes and metrics that were built early in the journey and challenge the team to improve, even incrementally, every quarter and every year. As soon as the improvement stops, or drifts backward, IT will quickly lose the ability to operate in the Transform state. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of continuous improvement.
The IT Value Journey Survey
Next week we will publish the results of the IT Value Journey Survey. The volume of responses has been quite unexpected. The more data we gather, the better you can benchmark your IT organization. And we are using these results to best focus our articles on the topics that will most help you, our audience.
Larry Wolff is the founder & CEO of Wolff Strategy Partners, a boutique consulting firm specializing in Enterprise Strategy Management and Digital Transformation. Larry has served as CEO, COO, CIO, chief digital officer, and management consultant for public, private, international and emerging growth companies. His specialties include corporate and IT strategic planning, technology led business transformation, business and IT turnarounds, merger integration and large-scale project rescues.