It’s no secret that creating digital platforms and ecosystems demands a faster paced-IT capability.  But is moving to a two-speed IT model the best way to go?

IT leaders are challenged to keep innovating while over 60% of IT budgets remain focused on keeping the lights on.  Consumers and workers alike expect more and more apps for mobile and desktop apps that just work. They expect IT innovators to rapidly source always-on, powerful and instantly intuitive solutions to capture, access, manage and share information. To keep pace with the need for near-constant digital re-invention, a new kind of IT rapid development operations team is needed (sometimes called DevOps) and a ‘fail-fast’ prototyping approach that in itself requires a high-productivity applications platform to support it.

Embrace Digital Or Die

One fundamental change that’s happened in the last two or three years is the recognition by management teams that they can’t ignore the importance of digital technologies or their influence on markets and business models. Organizations have a stark choice; to embrace digital innovations, or die.

Buy or Build

In this new digital market reality, enterprises are faced with the option to buy an existing digital platform and ecosystem to support their business model orchestration, or build their own. In most cases, the only way for organizations to achieve a competitive edge is to do the latter.  Recognition of this change makes IT an intrinsic core competency of any business, not a support department only there to keep the lights on.

McKinsey & Co. suggest companies with digital platforms enjoyed an annual boost in earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of 1.4 percent, compared with the 0.3 percent gains of non-players.  They go on to state that performance effects are cumulative, with EBIT improvements adding to early-year gains, so over a five- year period, platform players may capture an additional 10 percent in EBIT growth—a company’s 2 percent EBIT growth, for example, would increase to 2.2 percent in year five

 ‘The right digital-platform strategy’, Insights Report, McKinsey & Co, May 2019

DevOps – The Right Approach?

Enterprises are creating DevOps teams to support Digital Transformation (DX) at a rapid pace to speed up digital innovation and reduce the cost of operation.  Sometimes, DevOps teams are carved out of existing in-house resources and continue to report into the IT department, but in other cases, newly appointed Chief Digital Officers (CDO) roles are appointed to ensure a new culture is stitched into the design of this key enabling team. 

Which Route? Two-Speed or Integrated?

It’s an opinion only but my experience of two-speed team structures for digital transformation hasn’t been good. There’s a huge risk that some great people get left in the ‘slow-speed’ IT team that end up feeling disenfranchised. Also, the leadership of the two teams can end up squabbling all of the time and creating disruption and distractions that are at best unhelpful.  That said, if both teams accept their roles to be important, and the right personalities are placed in the right seats, then maybe it can work.

The Third Way

My preference is a third project structure. It’s what German companies call the ‘Organization Department’.  It’s a department that is responsible for managing change – a continuous improvement team that includes IT, analysts, legal, HR, marketing, program management competencies etc. in a single unifying team that sits within the body corporate led not by IT but the CEO.  Why this structure?  Because agility in business these days is a process.  It has a life-cycle like any other process. Organizations need to accept that change is not an intervention, it’s an always-on aspect of organizational performance.

Some Facts About Digital Transformation

%

88% of businesses say they are already under-going a digital transformation

%

On average middle-managers spend a quarter of their time searching for information... only to find that 50% of the data they find has no value

%

47% of job categories may be taken over by machines in the next two decades.

%

85% of businesses believe that cloud technology will transform their business or industry

%

On average over 60% of enterprise budget is spent on 'keeping the lights on' technology

%

40% of business managers cite a lack of urgency in the company as the biggest barrier to digital transformation

Source:

1. Altimeter Group Digital Transformation Survey
2. University of Oxford
3. Gartner (2112)
4. Gartner (2112)
5. Oxford Economics and SAP (2012)
6. MIT Sloan Mgmt. Review

 Why Tool-kits Matter

Without the right tool-kit, it’s not sensible or practical to consider in-house development of the technology you’ll need to orchestrate your business model.  When businesses continue to use manual coding of apps, they inevitably fall foul of the inherent weaknesses of human coding – project overruns, 

Encanvas software, and similar tools like MENDIX, SERVICENOW and OUTSYSTEMS equip businesses with the ability to design, deploy and run their own self-authored apps.  Encanvas is specifically engineered to support the project process for orchestrating business models through a series of software module developments.  This new genre of technology removes the technology obstacles of creating enterprise-scale applications such as coding, integrating and testing new applications.

How Live Wireframing Techniques Make Fail Fast Prototyping Affordable

A founding principle of rapid creation of apps is that it’s best to start small with the minimum set of requirements and get something working, delivering value.  The alternative to this is building a mammoth specifications requirements document that dreams up so many ‘nice-to-have’ features that it becomes impossible to economically produce.  When creating a best-fit app module, involving stakeholders (such as Customers, Partners, Users etc.) directly in the design process always works better. 

Removing code and presenting WYSIWYG results in a workshop environment is the best way to do this.

A Live-Wireframe is a fully functioning application prototype (pre-UAT) that proves the red-flag issues that the project team determines as being the biggest risks to project success.  The task of producing a Live-Wireframe is performed by having stakeholders work ‘across-the-desk’ with a business analyst who creates the resulting live-wireframe design in near-real-time.

As soon as line-of-business stakeholders get presented with a screen of code, they shy away from feeling they should contribute to the development process – it’s just too overwhelming.  With Live-Wireframes, stakeholders get to see during the design workshop, the live system they’re going to be using in all of its glory.  Seeing instant results in the form of a live-wireframe makes an enormous difference to project success, but it requires built-for-purpose development tools; a unifying design and deployment ecosystem that removes the need for IT to master a dozen different technology components before they can produce any outcome.

Learn More About How To Run Live Wire-framing Projects with Encanvas >

Two-Speed IT is unnecessary when enterprises create an Organization Department and install a culture of prototyping using Live-Wireframes into that team. It means digital platform design and management becomes an embedded capability of the enterprise, ensuring agility is seen as a constant (and is appropriately resourced).’

Learn more about ENCANVAS by speaking to an expert.

Request Demo

‘What’s in the box’ when you invest in a Recruitment Process Outsource provider?

4-minute readRecruitment Process Outsourcers (RPOs) are companies that outsource the recruitment function for employers. Often, RPO outsourcing partners will bring onboard a dedicated on-premise team to fulfill recruiting activities; hopefully possessing a heady blend...

How do you find the best STEM talent for your business?

3-minute read Includes FIVE of the best ways to source STEM talent. You’re not alone—It’s not easy to find STEM talent Roles in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics—or ‘STEM’ for short—are unquestionably the most challenging roles for organizations to...

Are you reading the right stuff to progress your career?

4-minute read What types of things should you be reading to broaden your knowledge on business subjects with an aim of progressing your career opportunities? Update your reading list here! Ever notice the back wall? We’ve all been on a Skype, Zoom or Teams web...

GOING DIRECT – How popular brands are leveraging social media to source their future workforce

3-minute read People pay attention to brands in their work-life, not just as consumers. To attract the best talent, your brand story (powered by modern social media) can equip you with everything you need to work. Your brand is your best weapon to source talent The...

What is a Master Vendor relationship and how does it bring value to employers?

3-minute read There are many types of partner relationship open to companies looking to source talent. The talent industry is awash with three letter acronymns to describe the various flavours—MSP, RPO, PPO, EoR… Master Vendor is another option. But what is it, and...

Want to use your brand halo to hire the best talent? Learn about Direct Sourcing

3-minute read 2021 and the buzz about Direct Sourcing is getting noisy According to Staffing Industry Analysts, 26% of US businesses today use direct sourcing and 41% plan to seriously consider it within the next two years. That’s because—so they say—it’s proven to...

HR Chatbots

3-minute read Chatbots are fast becoming key workers in workforce recruitment and management, and this is why How we choose to communicate changes over time Remember when people used to pick up a phone receiver to make a call? That era has well and truly been lost to...

Digital Evolution in Talent

2-minute read Every aspect of business activity has been touched by digital transformation. What has it meant for the talent discipline so far? And what happens next? The digitalization story so far… Think back a couple of years and you’d probably not notice a great...

With the rise in remote working there’s never been a better time to find an employer-of-record and a good talent platform to go with it

4-minute read Adapting the talent status quo It’s one of the least talked about subjects in the discipline of business management, but the fact is some of the more important improvements to the way an organization functions simply don’t happen because of the way...

How AI can mitigate virtual recruitment risk

4-minute read Artificial Intelligence (i.e. intelligence demonstrated by machines rather than humans) is the most Not a new story, but a news story AI isn’t all that new: it goes way back to the 1950s when Alan Turing invested in tests based on natural language...