Authored by: Pat Phelan, VP Market Research, Rimini Street, Inc.
Most CIOs believe they are in control of their IT roadmaps, yet external dynamics are creating pressure to change course. No longer can enterprise roadmaps be calibrated once and then put out of reach. To continue to enable business priorities and drive growth in a dynamic technology environment, roadmaps must be monitored and adjusted to account for market forces.
Here are nine signs that market forces may indeed be affecting organisations' IT roadmap:
#9 Evolving role of CIOs
The CEO needs CIOs to become business-driven thought leader, charting the course for organisational growth. The IT team needs to transition from curating back-office transactional efficiencies to driving the technological innovations that create competitive advantage.
#8 Disruptive and accelerating technologies
Disruptive technologies like mobile and the cloud, and accelerating technologies like AI and blockchain are all around-shiny objects capturing the imaginations of stakeholders. To control the disruption and use it to your organisation's advantage, set a clear strategy for the digital journey.
#7 Evolving IT options abound
IT options are advantageous and unprecedented, including cloud hosting and reduced reliance on existing ERP vendor's megasuite of products. In the current economic environment, organisations need to leverage the winds of change to future-proof the enterprise through a hybrid IT environment.
#6 Operational and organisational changes are prevalent
New technology tools and new ways of doing the work of IT are driving change in operations and in how the organisation is structured to support the business. CIOs must optimise both budget and staff to create capacity for innovation and change.
#5 No business need to upgrade the ERP, yet still the vendor persists
Based on the business priorities, there is no need for devoting budget and staff to a distracting cloud migration that may not even achieve parity with the organisation's existing internally deployed ERP solution. Yet the ERP vendor persists out of necessity. CIOs need to start making decisions based on the businesses's needs as oppose to the vendors' requirements.
#4 The business wants innovation faster than ever
The business wants information technology to be translated into innovation and competitive advantage-right now. Given the complex portfolio of current ERP applications and infrastructure solutions, that's a challenge. Yet literally, CIOs cannot wait to innovate. There is a need to find the agility to deliver at the speed of business.
#3 Shadow IT is starting to cause concern
Sometimes when IT can't deliver innovation, the business goes around the CIO, taking the lead, and owning new shadow IT solutions. Unknown — and unforeseen — security or interoperability threats could arise from shadow IT initiatives, potentially leading to governance or compliance issues. CIOs must optimise their operations to create capacity for change, and own and deliver the new IT solutions that the business requires.
#2 Staffing your IT team keeps you up at night
The business's increased demands for technology have collided head-on with an IT talent shortage. The demand for expertise exceeds the pool of experts. Disruptive technology requires new skills, and existing technology requires the skills of those who are ageing out of the workforce. This imbalance is projected to continue for years. CIOs must figure out how to address it.
#1 You are maximising the life of the ERP and innovating around the edges
The organisation's internally deployed ERP system is highly functional and running smoothly, complete with customised code. The back-office transactions will be efficient for years to come, yet the ERP system is not facilitating competitive advantage or growth. So, CIOs are innovating by adding high-impact, user-centric, best-in-class solutions around the ERP, delivered by smaller, nimble, groundbreaking providers.
Account for market forces to enable business success
IT leaders who recognise and address market forces as they create — and fine-tune — their enterprise roadmaps will position their organisations for greater success. Those who follow a Business-Driven IT Roadmap that aligns all IT spending with business goals will have a significant advantage over those who do not.