Strategy & Transformation

Flourishing in the modern marketplace relies on an organisation’s ability to make the right choices.

To avoid being left behind in an evolving world it is critical for organisations to jump at opportunities for transformational growth. However, acting without sufficient planning is fraught with risk. 

Transformation can only happen when an organisation is aligned on its strategic intent, and IT leaders need the resources to drive great choice-making across their organisation.

From planning to delivery, IBRS can cut through the confusion and guide your organisation all the way through its transformational journey. Our advisors have first-hand experience delivering digital transformation projects and can develop a tailored roadmap to deliver the outcomes you want. 

Limited resources and a lack of skilled staff are holding back councils' IT plans. Australia's local councils are under increasing pressure to modernise their operations and improve on-line service delivery for residents, but many are starved of the funds and skills to achieve those goals. These are the key findings of a report from IBRS into local government IT management. The report - Winds of Change also Sweeping Local Government - found that local government IT leaders are grappling with demands to simultaneously improve online customer-centric service delivery while reducing operating expenses.

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IBRS iQ is a database of Client inquiries and is designed to get you talking to our Advisors about these topics in the context of your organisation in order to provide tailored advice for your needs.
 

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Conclusion: Automation will overturn the old model of technology in some industries and workplaces. How automation could modify work practice is being explored but it is the ramifications which are obscure. If automation becomes widespread, as credible forecasts claim, it will have multiple consequences which require understanding and response.

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Conclusion: IT organisations initiating efficiency improvement programs should automate inter-process interaction, focus on measurement and refine inter-group communication. This will enhance service availability, reduce delivery cost and enrich end user experience.

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Conclusion: IT organisations wishing to maximise the ROI of as-a-Service contracts must transform the relationship management role from contract focus (i. e. whereby the mindset is to create a win/lose scenario) to a value focus whereby business benefits are realised. This demands building advanced skills in negotiation, communication and consulting. It is also necessary to extend the Relationship Manager’s role to one which ensures as-a-Service policies are developed, security policies are adhered to and external providers’ deliverables are synchronised with those of internal service providers.

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Conclusion: Paying for Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) which is kept on-premises, but paid for on an Opex model rather than as a Capex outlay, is often positioned as ‘Cloud-like’. There can be use cases and specific workloads where this model makes sense and does give some advantages to the organisation.

However, on-premises management of an organisation’s own Cloud can be lacking in the degree of flexibility and pace of innovation that can be achieved when compared to some of the larger and more successful public Cloud offerings such as Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure.

Organisations need to weigh up specific use cases and workloads and determine the optimal balance of when to use ‘on-premises’ Cloud versus public Cloud.

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Conclusion: With the migration to complex hybrid sourcing strategies, traditional IT organisations based on ‘plan/build/run’ models will not be suitable for acquiring Cloud services in an increasingly changing market. This is due to a vague understanding of service total cost of ownership and limited contract negotiation and management skills. IT organisations wishing to rely on external services must evolve to ‘plan/procure/govern’ structure to emphasise strategic service planning and hire specialised service providers’ governance skills. This shift should ensure mutual trust and respect between parties, well-defined service levels and clear roles and responsibilities. IBRS estimates the cost of the governance structure and services to be 3 %-7 % of the annual contract value. This must be considered during the business case preparation.

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The workforce is changing. The rise of digital innovation, disruption of businesses practices, and indeed entire industries, and the influx of digital natives into the workforce has fundamentally shifted expectations about how, where and when work gets done, and the role of the IT group.

Towards the workforce of the future provides you with an understanding of why and how the workforce is changing, provides a methodology for how to go about planning and implementing, and outlines resources needed and the potential impact on the IT group.

For a deeper understanding of how workforce change impacts the IT group download your copy now.  

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Conclusion: Abbreviated trialling of RPA platforms is shaping up as a relatively low risk, low cost approach to exploring the use of robotics to aid business process rather than lengthy technical evaluations.

However, business process re-engineering experience shows that just automating existing business processes without addressing inherent inefficiencies and adding a robotic overlay is a total waste of resources.

Basic RPA applications do not need IT coding and can reduce repetitive tasks and improve accuracy.

In more complex situations, use of RPA platforms and tools relies on leveraging IT systems integration in providing robotic aid to assist human intuitive decision-making.

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Conclusion: The enterprise architect (EA) role is one of the most intellectually challenging in an organisation. This is because it involves developing a systems roadmap to migrate from the current to a desired future state that is compatible with the business strategy.

Assign the wrong person to the EA role and the future systems will probably be unattainable and realising the business strategy problematic.

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Conclusion: IT-as-a-Service is an initiative launched by IT organisations to fix an IT problem, whilst digital transformation is another initiative launched by business lines to fix a business problem. However, fixing both problems remains an enterprise’s critical issue. Hence, organisations wishing to remove the duplication between the two programs should unify both programs and ensure sufficient funds are available to implement the unified program in a timely and cost effective manner.

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Conclusion: For the first time, Google has articulated a comprehensive go-to-market strategy for enterprise Cloud services. While the company has the technology and scale needed, it is only now outlining why organisations may wish to consider the Google Cloud Platform. Google will create a direct data centre presence in Australia in 2017 and is rapidly building a global services partner ecosystem. Google’s strengths (and weaknesses) compared to its two competitors, AWS and Azure, are well-reflected in its enterprise strategy. Google’s most significant announcements were not related to products, but rather its plans to address enterprise clients and develop a robust partner ecosystem. Australian organisations planning new Cloud initiatives for late 2017 or early 2018 may consider Google a viable option for enterprise Cloud infrastructure, though it will take another 12 months for Google’s local partner network to mature.

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IBRS iQ is a database of Client inquiries and is designed to get you talking to our Advisors about these topics in the context of your organisation in order to provide tailored advice for your needs.

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Conclusion: Investment attraction is the main business driver of local government Smart City projects and planning, followed by automation and internal productivity improvement.

Trophy Smart City projects based on entirely new cities are rare, but new towns, city centres, technology parks, recreation precincts and showcase suburbs are common and benefit from the same principles.

Every existing municipal service should be reviewed as a candidate for support and improvement using digital techniques.

Current and emerging technologies can routinely deliver Smart City services such as smart waste management, parking, transport, street lighting and facilitating community formation. Imagination is initially the resource in shortest supply.

The Mayor’s support for Smart City projects and programs is essential (because of their novelty and the political courage required) in any region of the world. Always.

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Conclusion: Automation is understood to facilitate repetitive but essentially simple tasks. In conjunction with general purpose machine intelligence, virtual personal assistants and technologies leveraging artificial intelligence, automation will expand into more operational roles.

As the technologies improve, the potential applications will expand and play a larger marketing role.

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Conclusion: Personas are a popular tool for organisations developing end-user computing strategies. Unfortunately, when used inappropriately, they can severely limit workplace innovation. However, the process of developing personas can be a very powerful tool for engaging with end users and uncovering opportunities to identify different work contexts within the organisation. Personas may also be used to simplify and communicate the business case for changes in how staff will leverage new end-user computing technologies in new ways.

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Conclusion: IT organisations wishing to select quality services at competitive prices should rate themselves against an IT procurement maturity model to leverage economies of scale. This will enable IT organisations to reduce cost while meeting business needs in a timely and cost-effective manner.

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The following are examples of Persona Templates.

 

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In this interview, Dr Wissam Raffoul outlines a practical and effective approach to migrating to an As-a-Service model. 

Sydney-based IT analysis firm IBRS has launched maturity assessment and methodology tools to assist organisations with the task of SaaS migration.

In order to improve business performance, or reduce the cost of doing business, forward-thinking IT organisations are trying to run IT as a service (ITaaS), said Dr Wissam Raffoul from IBRS.

“There are many challenges; for example, long software implementation time lines, fragmented delivery processes, as well as insufficient skilled resources to meet business demands,” said Dr Raffoul.

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Conclusion: Data overload and the ease of accessing various types of data has created a problem of what to use and where. This is manifested in the choices of analysis which tend to the facile, such as Return on Investment, which can be applied universally even when it is not strictly applicable. Furthermore, the relative priority of some types of measurement, and in which cases, is vague. It is not always feasible to strive for the absolute solution, such as the comprehensive view, and therefore a graded and qualified response is more pragmatic.

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Conclusion: Opposition to workplace change stemming from the organisation’s digital strategy agenda1 is inevitable. Astute IT managers expect it and identify initiatives to minimise opposition.

Digital strategy (or transformation) initiatives typically generate both overt and covert workplace resistance. Its sources may vary from situations such as:

  • Senior managers who fear that failure could adversely impact their career
  • Overworked middle managers claiming they cannot cope with more workplace change
  • IT professionals maintaining legacy systems not prepared to learn new skills.

Managers responsible for driving digital strategy agenda must identify where resistance is likely and determine how to minimise it. Assuming no resistance to it is unwise. Alternately, continually questioning the agenda may not reflect opposition but an indication staff are determining how to best implement it.

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Conclusion: While IaaS and PaaS adoption has been increasing, most IT organisations are hesitant to migrate their legacy systems to public SaaS. This is primarily due to the applications being highly customised resulting in a significant effort being required to retrofit existing systems to migrate them to public SaaS architecture in the Cloud.

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Conclusion: IBRS’s Business Priorities Atlas presents the highest-level view of Australian business priorities and the likely technological landmarks for 2017. While the Atlas is largely unchanged from 2016, there is a far greater focus on delivering IT “as a service” and security. The move from the desktop-era work environment to a more flexible “digital workspace” is well underway. Use the Atlas to stimulate discussion between senior IT and non-IT executives as to what, where and when to invest in 2017 through to 2018.

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Conclusion: Serverless programming is a new paradigm for developing and running Cloud-native solutions. It holds the promise of creating far more scalable solutions that ‘stitch together’ other Cloud services, making it the much-needed ‘programmatic underpinning’ for the Cloud. It is as significant a shift in software development as object orientation was from procedural programming in the 1980s.

However, serverless programming is immature, and its use cases not well understood. The timing for development teams to engage with serverless programming is largely dependent upon an organisation’s appetite for adopting bleeding-edge, Cloud-based services. The more services being adopted, the sooner the team should begin to learn this new programming paradigm. Even when used, care should be taken to limit the scope of deployment of serverless programs.

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Conclusion: Abbreviated trialling of RPA platforms is shaping up as a relatively low risk, low cost approach to exploring the use of robotics to aid business process rather than lengthy technical evaluations.

However, business process re-engineering experience shows that just automating existing business processes without addressing inherent inefficiencies and adding a robotic overlay is a total waste of resources.

Basic RPA applications do not need IT coding and can reduce repetitive tasks and improve accuracy.

In more complex situations, use of RPA platforms and tools relies on leveraging IT systems integration in providing robotic aid to human intuitive decision-making.

Read more ...

There is expected to be moderate growth between 2017 and 2025 which will have an impact on business operations.

Conclusion: The business climate over 2017-2025 will present new conditions that are more challenging. Based on various forecasts, the eight-year period will see moderate growth and that will have a direct impact on business operations.

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Conclusion: There are distinct differences between traditional outsourcing, managed services and as-a-service contracts. Traditional outsourcing and managed services are input-based contracts with a fixed price based on the number of the supplier team members delivering the service, service levels that do not reflect business operations and significant financial penalties when exiting for convenience.

As-a-service contracts are outcome-based contracts, priced on a consumption basis, measured by service levels that reflect end-user experience and no exit fees.

IT organisations should analyse the advantages and disadvantages of each alternative whilst formulating their sourcing and Cloud migration strategies.

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Conclusion: As the nature of work is becoming less routine and linear, the most effective collaboration solutions are supporting the ways that teams and individuals want to work.

At the same time, customer service techniques are changing to appeal to individuals in the ways that they like to be treated.

Developments in business work flow and customer service are emerging in four broad generations of deployment:

  • Business process, work flow and customer service have morphed from document and transaction-centricity to
  • augmentation by social networking and mobility applications, followed by
  • increasing support from a conversational (Chat) model aided by interactive robotic speech, and
  • in future, even more personalised and intimate experiences delivered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Virtual Digital Assistants (VDA).

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Conclusion: One of IT organisations’ objectives must be to reduce the total service cost of legacy applications by migrating them to a Cloud environment. However, achievement of the desired success largely lies in limiting the scope variations of Application-as-a-Service contracts and controlling the hidden cost drivers. This requires leveraging the lessons learnt in containing outsourcing cost and establishing flexible contracts in the legacy environment. Failure to do so may extend the legacy system lifetime and leave IT organisations with no alternative but to absorb the increased cost of application management on an ongoing basis.

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While the objectives of improved profit and productivity are straightforward, innovation is more complex than just the implementation of technology. Innovation touches people, processes and how organisations maintain their purpose in future

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Workforce transformation embraces far more than just mobility: it embraces not only where work gets done, but how, when and by whom. Much has been written about the fact that many jobs will cease to exist, while many others will transform beyond all recognition. And the impact these workforce changes will have on hiring practices and the structure of business is significant.

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Conclusion: Business prefers certainty to doubt and some issues now appear to be clear:

  • Full deployment of Australia’s National Broadband Network now seems likely within about 5 years.
  • Its funding method and construction costs will create broadband access with higher prices than current ISP charges and those of Australia’s trading partners.
  • Enterprises now need to act in self-interest to review and plan their access networks for branch offices and customer service.

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Conclusion: The Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) was created two decades ago to provide visibility of the total cost of IT assets. It was targeted at IT organisations running an in-house mode of operations. While TCO can provide a good understanding of the internal IT asset cost, it could not estimate the cost per service because the IT budget was never based on service delivery. As a result, it was neither adequate to buy external services nor sufficient to assess the value that an IT organisation can bring to the business lines. IT organisations should adopt the Total Cost of Service (TCS) model to accurately estimate services’ internal costs, benchmark the external services cost and justify the services costs in terms of business imperatives.

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Conclusion: Community Clouds can provide the expected value of using “Cloud”-based services in a shared environment that may be more economical than a closed private Cloud or privately owned and managed IT solutions. But economics may not be the driving factor. Identifying a common “customer” need or client base can be the main driver to getting similar organisations to agree to use shared resources or services.

The effort in getting organisations to recognise the opportunity to work together and to actually implement a community Cloud should not be underestimated. As in arranging car pooling, whilst the benefits may be clear, there is still the challenge of finding the other participants who all want to go to the same place, at the same time, and with agreed cost sharing. A “lead” organisation is necessary to help coordinate the required effort to create a Community Cloud.

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IBRS iQ is a database of Client inquiries and is designed to get you talking to our Advisors about these topics in the context of your organisation in order to provide tailored advice for your needs.

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Conclusion: The drive for digital disruption has forced many organisations to implement contact centres’ online chat facilities (or equivalent). The rationale is to instantly connect customers with service experts and to resolve inquiries at the first contact whenever possible. While customers enjoy the ability to initiate a chat anytime and from any device, the ability of service providers to resolve inquiries to customers’ satisfaction remains unfulfilled in many cases, especially in the telecommunication carriers industry. Organisations should realise that a digital transformation is not only about implementing online facilities; it requires significant business process re-engineering to improve end-user experience across all types of inquiries.

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Conclusion: Even though stakeholders may support ‘Digital’ initiatives – due in no small part to the all-encompassing nature of the term ‘Digital’ in today’s market – many of these initiatives will fail to deliver on the original intent. This is because the term ‘Digital’ enables stakeholders to reinterpret the intent of an initiative in a number of different ways. This can cause stakeholders – both within ICT groups and within the organisation more broadly – to take actions that deviate from the original intent, or that resist attempts to change. Even when organisations have put in place governance and processes to reconfirm stakeholders’ understanding of the initiative’s intentions, reinterpretations and misaligned actions can still occur.

By understanding the types of ‘mutation’ that stem from the use of ‘Digital’, and by appreciating the limitations of traditional methods of checking stakeholder alignment, policy and program leads can minimise the risk of projects being implemented in unexpected ways.

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IBRS iQ is a database of Client inquiries and is designed to get you talking to our Advisors about these topics in the context of your organisation in order to provide tailored advice for your needs.

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All too often mobility solutions are developed or procured in isolation to address narrow business needs, without consideration of how such solutions will scale-up into production or fit within the larger ICT ecosystem. Over time this hinders ICT’s agility in providing mobile solutions and increases the risks of project failures.

A Mobility Solution Delivery Framework can help maintain agility in mobility solution delivery and reduces risks. Moreover, it ensures a close alignment between business needs and investments in mobility.

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