We now live in an age where a single software engineer can often outperform a large traditional IT team in output, quality and business value. Some of this super-human performance is due to modern engineering processes, automation and the low-cost storage and processing power of the cloud. However, that’s just one part of the picture so what’s actually going wrong for these larger teams?
It is an age-old problem but most traditional organisations maintain a clear separation between business and IT functions. In turn, IT often separates projects from operations. This has led to significant inefficiencies that have had a constraining effect on organisations. We know from speaking with non-IT executives that IT is often seen as being increasingly expensive, with delivery taking too long and therefore has limited value. In essence, IT is seen as a cost-centre rather than a place you seek for innovation and new product development.
Contrary to this, many new start-up organisations work in a very different way. They ensure business and IT work collaboratively in combined product teams. There is no distinction between projects or operations, they’re all one team. These companies tend to be efficient and very ‘agile’, able to react to new opportunities or threats quickly and cheaply. They recognise that the way organisations collaborate with each other and communicate with customers has evolved with digital channels becoming the preferred norm.
Here at Penta Technology my colleagues and I call this new way of working Digital Enablement. We believe it to be a cultural change to an organisation and not just about making the best use of the latest, very good, technologies and techniques.
In business terms, digital enablement means, being able to deliver the multi-channel product strategy you’ve always wanted. It basically means being able to deliver more flexible IT quicker and at much lower cost. Technically, it means a modern infrastructure able to cope with the vast amounts of data being produced every second today. Finally, it means having both the skill, business acumen and agility to make the most of latest technology in areas such as big data, machine learning and the internet of things (IoT).
Digital Enablement from a traditional business model is not easy. It often needs a complete change of mind set and some organisations just aren’t ready for it. In fact, sometimes we have the misfortune of having to tell potential customers not to bother all. More on this on the next post.