Saying Yes To Everything? No, that’s not great Digital and Technology leadership!

Great Digital and Technology leadership is about exceptional communication and strong relationships.

Over the last few years the shift to digital has accelerated. Legacy IT departments have been side-lined by progressive digital functions from marketing functions. Front facing business areas that have unilaterally adopted cloud technologies, just saying “Yes” – yet by-passing protocol and standards. In effect side-lining technology functions, leaving them to ‘keep the lights’ on while the business continues to do what it wants.

This two tier technology structure is not sustainable in any businesses. It drives years of additional costs and builds large technical debt. All of this needs to be serviced with additional resources. Many organisations are now suffering from this oversight from both the technology function and senior business leadership side. The lack of engagement and trust from both areas crippling progress.

Traditional IT functions have been good at managing costs, through a combination of over complication and strict control. It’s easier when you just say “No”. They have done what most organisations wanted them to do, a decade ago.

Today, the business wants something different. It needs technology functions to say “Yes” and integrate fully with the business objectives and goals.

Yes, and…

There is nothing wrong with saying “Yes” – but it comes with conditions.

The progressive digital and technology leader knows that only with strong relationships through-out can an organisation make the right decisions on the technology being deployed. Sometimes these decisions are tactical, as well as strategic.

Paying down the technical debt is crucial – this can only come with a long term strategic view, and investment . The challenge is ensuring the business understands this, and that can only come from clear and concise communication. The transformation areas to focus on include:

  • Embracing digital ways of working, for example agile methodologies
  • Rebooting the programme and project delivery function
  • Introducing product managers
  • Retiring legacy applications
  • Focusing on security and cyber
  • Developing a clear data strategy
  • Consolidating duplicate platforms

If you want to be able to say “Yes” to the business, then you need the business in turn to say “Yes” to technology transformation, including organisation design, business facing processes and standards – it’s a two way street.

Your job as a leader is to enable this – and ensure the success of both your business and your team.

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