In dynamic organizations, IT isn't regarded as a cost center or a necessary evil. Instead, IT is part of the fabric of everything the business does.
Adoptive. To be adoptive is to have adopted something as your own. In a dynamic organization, IT professionals will have "adopted the business" as their own. They will have chosen to live their lives in the lives of their customers. This is the essence of customer intimacy. In dynamic organizations, this customer intimacy will enable IT leaders to move beyond simply relying on and responding to customer needs. Dynamic organizations will leverage this intimacy to anticipate demand and to uncover needs before customers can articulate them.
Innovative. At their core, dynamic organizations will be innovative organizations. Leveraging the deep levels of transparency and intimacy, they will innovate naturally. These innovations will not be about big, revelatory changes most of the time. Instead, these will be small, consistent innovations that over time and in the aggregate have a significant impact. Dynamic organizations will take the same commoditized technologies that their competitors have access to and combine them with unique business processes to drive significant and differentiating value to the organization. This kind of innovation will be the operating model of the dynamic, next-generation IT organization.
What Our Customers Have Always Wanted
Becoming a dynamic, next-generation IT organization is to become the IT organization that our customers have always wanted. It's really what they have always expected. And, if we're being honest, what we have always wanted, too. Being a part of this kind of organization is fun. It’s fulfilling and meaningful. In dynamic organizations, IT isn't regarded as a cost center or a necessary evil. Instead, IT is part of the fabric of everything that the business does.
There is often talk about how IT wants a seat at the table. But when we reach this state of being a dynamic, next-generation IT organization, there is no table. No one has the time to sit down and plot out these nice, neat strategies and execute them over a nice, neat five-year planning horizon. In the world that we now find ourselves, everything is moving at light speed. Strategies will be in a constant state of change as competitors react and innovate ever faster. Those organizations that rely on the historical models where the big decisions get made at the table will find their market share eroded as their competitors move faster than they can ever contemplate.
The future will belong to the organizations that can move and change rapidly, innovate at a relentless pace, and look for every opportunity to leverage technology to create differentiation and unique value for their customers. They will not be sitting around a table. They will be out in the real world, getting it done. And none of that will be possible unless they have a dynamic, next-generation IT organization that makes it all work.
That's the future. And it belongs to the dynamic organization.
About the Author
Charles Araujo is a recovering consultant and accidental author of the book, The Quantum Age of IT: Why Everything You Know About IT is About to Change. He is an internationally recognized authority on IT Leadership and liberally shares his message of hope about the future of IT and what it means for all of us. He is the founder and CEO of the IT Transformation Institute and serves on the boards of itSMF USA and the Executive Next Practices Institute. You can follow him at @charlesaraujo.
Editor's note: This is the final installment of an eight-part article series titled "Seven Steps to a Next-Generation IT Organization." To read the previous installment ("Are You Brave Enough to be an Intimate Leader?"), click here.