Updated: Feb 5, 2021
In this challenging economy, you need to unlearn, relearn, retrain and retool yourself and your team to stay relevant and bring value to your organizations. What brought you here will not keep you here! Innovate or die!
More than simply bringing reliable IT services and bringing-down IT cost, IT organizations are (now more than ever) expected to bring innovation to the table. But, what does “innovation” really mean? The definition of innovation can vary depending on the person you ask. In its purest form, it is the process of translating an idea or invention into goods or services that create value for which customers will be willing to pay. More often -- it is meant to save time, money, and energy.
Modern IT organizations must evolve from Technocrats to Business Re-inventors
With BRM (Business Relationship Management) role slowly superseding traditional IT role and the rise of new-age skill sets such as information analytics/cognitive technologies, RPA (Robotics Process Automation), AI (Artificial Intelligence), IoT (Internet of Things), and mobility -- a blended IT-business role is critical in today's digital economy.
IT organizations aiming to thrive during this turbulent time, must be armed with a progressive customer-centric mindset, coupled with modern tool sets in their toolbox. These new breed of IT-business professionals must have their eye on the prize and outcomes, rather than just implementing technology for the sake of technology. These Business Re-inventors will always have their final customers, products and services in mind and put theories into action to realize the goals of their organizations.
Strategic speed is king
In "Fast IT", I proposed that having focus and clarity of objectives, unity in goal, agility and resilience to deliver the tasks at hand becomes the norm rather than the exemption.
Translating business requirements into just-in-time practical solutions, sufficient to meet the current needs and using the right technological tools, have become the top skill-set most organizations are looking for on top of their IT hierarchy. "Requirements gathering is a very underrated skill that is key to any IT organization nowadays," to quote my good friend Dr. Scott MacDonald.
Agile vs. Radical
Agility focuses on speed and immediate results, while traditional or radical project management focuses on expansiveness, thoroughness, and accuracy. While both sets of tools are required for different results, more and more organizations are gravitating towards agile with micro-iterations on their product and service development evolution phase. Failing fast to succeed fast is what successful multi-billion dollar start-ups are doing nowadays. I think this is a mindset that we all need to have at this point. Gone are the days that we have 18 months or 2 years to deliver on a project -- and by the time we deliver, the requirements have already changed.
Technocrats at the back, Business Re-inventors at the driver's seat
Traditional IT professionals will still be required to keep the lights on and grapple with what is left of your legacy systems. Still, organizations re-invent themselves to capitalize on digital technologies and weather this pandemic storm will rely on digital business re-inventors and innovators.
As the dichotomy of these 2 type of IT professionals widens, their common objective remains the same - serve the customers, improve business processes, cut cost, sell more, produce more, collect more, etc.
My prediction is that a huge populace of IT professionals will remain in the side-lines or the kitchen; after all, they prefer to deal with computers, networks, programs, and machines rather than deal with the intricacies and complications of dealing with people. However, those who will succeed and move up the corporate ladder in the short to medium term will continue to brush-up their technical acumen while gaining business and customer insights to hone their business relationship management skills. These Business Re-inventors and Innovators will be tasked to keep their ship afloat during this turbulent time, bring it ashore to a haven, then -- lead to hunting for new and brighter opportunities in this novel economy. After all, IT has evolved towards "behavioral science" than simply "computer science."