Are you meeting your obligations to shareholders/stakeholders?
Until relatively recently an organisation’s board typically only got involved with IT when the management wanted to proceed with a major capital investment – a system refresh, new software or a similar project. You could expect a debate around budgets, timelines and risks, and of course management would provide all the necessary assurances.
In most cases, these projects run extremely well, achieving budget and timeline. A small number don’t, and these can become massive distractions, but fortunately these are in the minority.
But Boards are Changing
It makes sense that, as with any investment, the organisation needs to know that it is getting value from their technology, and have undertaken reasonable measures to reduce risk. Today’s boards are asking tough questions as IT becomes even more central to business operations, and as IT threats continue to escalate. That’s become especially true over the last couple of years, as boards are more focused on risks, and cyber-security has stepped up and grabbed board attention. It’s a big topic, and a frustrating one because it is all about the downside of technology rather than the upside. There’s inevitably still a few boards looking for absolute assurance about cyber protection, and of course, that’s completely naïve and impossible – businesses can only limit and mitigate risk.
But businesses also need to think about disruption, and in this case, digital disruption. At the extreme, I’ve seen cases where boards have asked management to create the ‘uber app’ of their industry. The reality is that organisation strategy does have to think about the potential impact of IT on their sector and how they can harness it. At the simplest level, organisations can’t afford to be overtaken by a competitor.
Why Before How
Organisations need to think about what their purpose is, why they do what they do, and put the ‘how’ they do it to one side. That’s because technology gives us the ability to rethink the ‘how’ and that’s best done with a blank piece of paper. Literally every day, things that used to be impossible become possible. That gives the ability to transform a business, and for most of us, it is the cumulative effect of many smaller steps that add up to a substantive change in;
- Engaging customers in new and more compelling ways
- Optimising operations to become more nimble and efficient
- Empowering users to do more
- Transforming products
Technologies like the cloud open up new opportunities, with new applications, new services such as data analytics, applying AI to internal operations, connecting and securing data and so much more.
For more information, contact us today.
If you aren’t sure who in your organisation is best to answer these questions, it is probably time you tried a contract part-time IT Manager, to help you manage ALL your valuable IT.