As the New Year begins, now is as good a time as any to remember why organizations continue to invest in IT. In fact, much of the answer to that question can be found in a recent three-year study conducted by the IT services firm Capgemini in conjunction with the MIT Center for Digital Business.
The joint survey of 450 senior executives at multi-billion-dollar companies found that companies that utilize IT to transform business processes:
Much has been made in recent years about the value of IT. What this study drives home, however, is that while every organization may have access to the same technologies, there is a world of difference between having access and the expertise needed to be successful. Even in a cloud computing age where the cost of accessing enterprise-class technologies is dropping by the day, the fact remains that not all organizations take advantage of IT equally well.
In fact, Dr. Didier Bonnet, global practice leader at Capgemini Consulting and executive sponsor for Capgemini Consulting’ s Digital Transformation program, contends the research clearly shows that when it comes to IT, it is the people and processes that make the biggest difference. None of the successful organizations, notes Bonnet, transformed themselves overnight. Instead, they used each successful IT project to continually transform the organization.
Ultimately, Bonnet says that means creating a culture where IT is valued as a strategic asset. Once that’s accomplished, the real big task, says Bonnet, becomes integrating IT within business processes to create teams of people who have highly integrated skill sets across both IT and functions such as, for example, marketing. That’s when the “real magic” of IT starts occur, adds Bonnet.
Obviously, there has been a lot of discussion over the years about the divide between IT and the business. Bonnet says the research shows that top performers from an IT perspective have put that issue behind them. Of course, perhaps the most compelling issue that survey serves to highlight is simply helping IT people better define the kind of companies they want to work for. If the organization doesn’t already value IT, chances are, waiting for someone in senior management to finally realize the value of IT may take longer than the best and brightest IT professionals are going to be willing to wait.