CIO's must digitise internal IT processes to keep pace with change

Be more adaptable than ever before to help businesses keep in step with the pace of innovation

The pace of change is faster than ever, which means CIOs need to think differently about the role of IT in the enterprise.

Traditionally, the effort of the IT department complemented the goals of business. The IT function developed the systems and software to support new business processes. Projects used to be run top-down with the executive management’s strategy for the business executed through the use of software-powered business processes. Projects took a waterfall approach, ran over several years and usually involved the deployment of major pieces of enterprise software infrastructure.

But the risks associated with major implementations failing, or the business changing before the systems were fully deployed, has seen a rise in different approaches to IT, where new functionality is delivered at a faster rate.

This pace of change is being driven by the way the web has evolved. Gartner believes the worldwide web is entering its third phase: in the 1990s, for the majority of users, the web was read-only; at the start of the 21st century, social media gave users a writeable web, allowing people to share comments, videos, pictures and “likes” with anyone who wanted to follow them; and now we are “on the cusp of Web 3.0, where the web becomes executable”.

IT needs to evolve into a connected intelligent architecture.

Digital transformation redefined

Rather than thinking of the IT that supports business as a fixed set of software and hardware, the software is part of a continuous development and continuous integration process, while hardware is swapped in and out and workloads shift between on-premise data-centres and the public cloud, based on business requirements.

Some would argue that this is what a digital transformation means for the IT department – instead of delivering IT projects, its role becomes about delivering capabilities on a continual basis, which enable the business to adapt and take advantage of new innovations.

To be successful, organisations need to be able to fail fast and work in an iterative and innovative way.

The CIO needs an entirely new strategy, where change is the only constant.

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