Entrpreneurial IT leaders can offer unique insight, capability, experience and corporate leadership to the business. They are innovation-oriented and in an economy with uncertainty, they can find new methods for starting and sustaining revenue growth.
By David R Soley
It’s time for IT to rethink its corporate mission to determine how it can impact new value creation, better define business strategy, market development and revenue growth. Changing market interactions and emerging opportunities heavily factor in to this need to redesign business models with the goal of achieving corporate entrepreneurialism.
From a human resource perspective, IT needs to consider developing entrepreneurial / innovation oriented leaders because these people offer unique insight, capability, and experience, which are of great value to the business. Another motivation for IT entrepreneurialism — corporate leadership in a concerning and uncertain economy requires an ability to find new methods for starting and sustaining revenue growth.
In the last 35 years varieties of new innovations have been introduced to IT and core business. The most significant were the introductions of Micro-computers, Wide Area Networks, Enterprise Software Systems, Wireless Technology, and the Internet.
Each market movement had a positive and profound impact on businesses and the economy. In each case, IT successfully initiated market innovation. As a result, IT is currently in a position to start another great market event, influence the business and, more importantly, restarting the economy. Essentially, technology and knowledge IT is solidly in place to introduce a more comprehensive level of entrepreneurialism and innovation.
IT Leaders in Position to Grow Business Revenue
Business has entered a new era with abundant resources, alert infrastructure, and core capabilities to influence corporate and market value creation. These resources combine with customer insight to provide the means to develop new corporate and market architectures leading to new products, services and customer pathways and relationships.
Having the capability to influence or create new opportunities for a business and its customers is something unique, contrasting with the original essence of business, when products and services were originally produced to solve customer problems. Technology oriented organizations being the exception to this rule.
In the current reality, having market insight management with their assembly of resources (knowledge, data, technology, process) creates opportunity leading to entrepreneurial and innovation discovery. With more resources available to the business, management is positioned to develop new or to enhance existing business models, delivery processes, and products for their customers. More importantly, utilizing value chain practices and technology enhancements, management arranges the core business to become more connected to their eco-system and market-place needs.
This current situation is an important signal to IT, as it opens a window of opportunity. Given their understanding of technology, the core business and software, product development and process, IT becomes the center point for achieving innovation and entrepreneurialism.
The final motivation is the economy and how it has become more challenging. The CEO is looking for new revenue growth centers and IT has an abundance of resources available to address current and future top line oriented initiatives.
Case Study: Launching IT Entrepreneurialism
IT entrepreneurialism starts from any number of functional areas within the core business where there’s an opportunity to impact customers and products, service value, or critical value activities influencing customer value.
An example of IT entrepreneurialism with a client from the financial services industry: The CEO and President of the company were interested in developing a new value chain and identifying and developing new services, markets, and revenue streams for the core business. The client was in a highly competitive market, their product markets were mortgage banking, consumer financing and insurance, and financial investment services.
Working with management, marketing, operations, and IT, the first step of the project involved developing an understanding of corporate and market strategies and determining issues impacting current strategy initiatives. In addition, it was necessary to review current business processes relevant to market development and identifying and modeling new opportunities.