Aligning Dollars and “Sense”

IT leaders find value in mapping the organizational value chain, empowering the business today and going forward.

CIOs are plowing substantial portions of their IT spending into potentially disruptive technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), machine to machine (M2M), hybrid cloud management, 3-D printing, IT automation and advanced analytics. At the same time, CIOs know they need to keep up with the tools that fuel businesses today, such as cloud computing and mobility. That’s all according to a recent CIO Survey.

To strike a perfect balance between investments in current needs and future empowerment, you must first take the time to map out a value chain and the strategic timelines. Knowing that your business is strategically shifting toward mobile customer interactions, for instance, should clear the way for investments in mobile application modernization. Similarly, value mapping may reveal hesitation in specific areas such as sensor utilization; that means you may have to spend more time educating business units about the future value of data collection.

ITSecond, once armed with value chain map results, you should be able to anticipate the ripple effect of each technology investment, which often fuels the need to invest in other areas. For instance, a larger investment in IoT infrastructure increases the organizational need for advanced big data analytics capabilities so you can best leverage the intense uptick in data collection. Of course, it’s also important to understand and accommodate a dynamic strategy. Alignment, in this case, is ever-evolving.

Likewise, IoT/M2M spending can easily lead to application modernization and 3-D printing spending. Consider a manufacturing plant where sensor-to-sensor communication runs a self-monitoring facility that prints machine replacement parts before failures occur. It may sound futuristic, but it’s exactly this kind of capability that serves as the driving force for IoT, especially in this era of interconnected technologies.

Finally, remember that these disruptive technologies are vastly interwoven, so investing on a hunch or considering technology in isolation could prove to be a grave mistake. As such, you need to know exactly which disruptive technologies are crucial to your strategy—putting you in a better position to empower lines of business to market leadership.

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