Digital transformation needs an effective IT strategy

To lift IT performance from “bad” to “good,” conventional strategies, stricter cost controls and increased governance may suffice. However, to become “great”, CIOs need to innovate the way they manage technology during digital transformation.

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In the previous two articles of this series, I made bold assertions about the effectiveness of today’s enterprise IT: First, I said that a significant portion of IT effort falls by the wayside and contributes little or no economic value. Then, I shared scientific evidence demonstrating that the problem was not about the leaders, culture, or people, but the technology management practices that don’t meet the needs of a digital world. Finally, I concluded that conventional IT strategies are not delivering enough productivity and speed to elevate IT effectiveness; and therefore, they are distracting executive focus, team resources and technology funding away from the real cures to an ailing IT effectiveness.

The above narrative has a lot packed in it and, in many ways, goes against the conventional wisdom. When I explain it to my clients and colleagues, their first reaction is a mix of disbelief and self-assurance, and only after many hours of in-depth conversations, we arrive at an ‘aha!” moment. In this article, I will bring the pieces of the IT effectiveness puzzle together so that you can arrive at your own conclusion much sooner.

IT effectiveness is the strive to achieve the best desired outcomes – strategic, tactical, goodwill, transactional, operational, regulatory, risk aversion, or the like – from the available technology spending. During our extensive research on the conventional and emerging technology management practices, we looked for the systemic behavioral patterns that inhibits IT effectiveness by either reducing desired outcomes or increasing spending.

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