Corporate IT is facing a fundamental turning point: Remote, integrated cloud structures, the shortening of technology life cycles and the sheer impatience of the Management Millennial class require a fundamentally new process for IT. Legacy Enterprise Architecture models are simply unable to keep up with the accelerated rate of change in tech and the expectation of continuous improvement from both clients and investors. No wonder, then, that IT execs find themselves more often at the holistic decision making center of the business rather than being relegated to the dark corners of the company, having their department’s very existence questioned.
Although one of the main goals of Enterprise Architecture was to cut down on redundancy, the portfolios of enterprise applications are still increasing. The proliferation of convenient, low cost remote applications are causing companies to move with expansive efforts rather than limiting philosophies. The cost of implementing the right application is less important than competitive advantage, a fundamental shift that creates opportunities for alternative directions in IT management. Basically, if a technology is advantageous in a market, cost ceases to be as much of a concern.
So the jack of all trades platform that specializes in nothing is less effective. Large scale ERP systems that were thought to bring so much extra power into the corporate IT narrative (and actually did, compared to previous business generations) are now being overrun by closely integrated, holistic business functions that combine process, technology and strategy.
The Effect of the Cloud – Fogging Up Departmental Functions
Is there really a need for a structural architecture that is based around individualized departments? This is the basis of the legacy Enterprise Architecture model that worked relatively well around a decade ago. Things change. Today, the main function of your CIO team based around a legacy Enterprise Architecture structure should be to meld into holistic business units.
The entire organization must take on the notion of moving into the cloud. Employees from the top down must understand that this means the end of the traditional Enterprise Architecture model. Individualized departments cause far too much friction to keep up with the accelerated pace of modern technological innovation.
From the top down, the IT department must redirect its efforts into more holistic functions – the effect of becoming more integrated into centralized company decisions is the loss of some autonomy (and top level positions and a few corner offices).
The distinction Chief Innovation Technical Officer (CITO) has proven to be an incredibly effective role in combining innovation and process into a quantifiable, holistic executive position. From this integrated position, a more effective and centrally focused department may be created that keeps pace with technology while maintaining the ability to apply new solutions to interdepartmental functions. A CITO led department also fundamentally changes KPIs to include metrics that are more in line with an IT design based around the aggressive notion of competitive advantage rather than the passive notion of cost savings.
The jump from a fundamentally serrated corporate structure into a holistic one is not a journey that a company should take alone. Strategic partners such as Norwell Tech are based around the notion of moving legacy programs into a forward thinking infrastructure that combines the functions of formerly individualized departments without losing out on the specialized knowledge of franchise employees. A small investment now could save a larger campaign later – and a free consultation to understand the service is definitely no loss.