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. 

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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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: 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.

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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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Conclusion: The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ annual innovation survey quantifies the efforts of businesses in all industries. The status of innovation is quite mixed, between small businesses which tinker at the edges and larger enterprises which are more thorough.

Innovation is not one thing – it is a variety of actions which can be implemented. Improving technological capability is not a high priority and that could be a concern for CIOs, CTOs, CDOs and vendors because the purpose and value of technology, and related investments, appear less directly important to business.

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Conclusion: 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. This paper outlines the essential components of a Mobility Solution Delivery Framework.

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Conclusion: IT organisations driving their business transformation should mature their as-a-Service capability to deliver IT services at commercial standards in a timely and cost-effective manner. This should lead to effective delivery through the integration of business and IT processes.

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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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You have probably already started some mobility initiatives for your organisation, and that is a good thing, because mobility has the potential to be truly transformative to many, many industries.

Not only does it change where work gets done, but in many cases it can change how work gets done, and even who does the work. It can actually alter the structure of your workplace. So mobility clearly is something that you want to look for, if you're striving for innovation.

But one of the things that we've noticed with many, many organisations that we have dealt with and many, many case studies we have been involved with, is that over about two or three years tops, many mobility initiatives start to bog down. It starts getting harder and harder and harder for organisations to really keep up that speed of development, to maintain that rate of innovation.

This is so common that we have a term for it: we call it the Burning Rabbit syndrome,

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Conclusion: While activity based working can deliver a better ambient environment and cut some fixed costs, it is the less easily measured outcomes that are the objective. These objectives tend to come under the heading of collaboration.

Public sector organisations need to see beyond the initial phase of ABW and look to the longer term in order to achieve the promise of activity based working.

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Conclusion: Traditional disaster recovery plans do not mitigate risks against frequent software and hardware malfunction, nor do they integrate with business continuity plans. As a result, a production service may become unavailable for up to two days in certain cases (e. g. recovery from a database outage or data corruption). In the digital world, the business impact of such a failure will be significant as clients may place their orders with a competitor when they face an unavailable service for a prolonged period of time. IT organisations should deliver recovery-as-a-service that provides non-stop business operations.

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Conclusion: Just as every marketable motor vehicle needs skilful designers and a proficient driver to reach its destination, an organisation needs visionary leaders and skilled staff to digitally transform its business model.

Technology, whilst important, represents just one wheel of the motor vehicle. Overstating technology’s value is simplistic. Vendors who promote technology, and their solution, as the cornerstone of the digital transformation strategy do themselves a disservice.

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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: IT organisations driving their business transformation should mature their internal consulting function to connect with business units’ service quality expectations. This should lead to consistent delivery, facilitate knowledge sharing and realise business benefits.

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Conclusion: Team collaboration solutions can be categorised by the types of work they focus upon. These are: project (time), people (social) and product (document). When choosing a team collaboration tool consider what the organisation’s teams most commonly collaborate on –projects, personal interactions, documents and ensure this work focus is a primary selection criterion.

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Conclusion: Business investment has all but disappeared in the last five years1. Therefore it is understandable that the appeal for more investment in the drive to digital transformation will unlock innovation and a new route to productivity. However, it is not that simple, as a review of the data illustrates.

Planning the future with rear-vision perspectives is sure to disappoint, if not fail. Organisations would be better to examine their own situation and discard received wisdom, especially from vendors.

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Conclusion: Application developers and IT Managers have become enthusiastic adopters of Cloud due to the apparent large cost savings and short development time compared to using internal infrastructure when prototyping projects. However, they are often unaware of the cost impact of their choice of Cloud resources on the operational delivery of their ICT workloads.

Each Cloud service provider has its own sweet spot for particular ICT deployments, so users must be able to work out the best Cloud vendor and solution mix.

Best practice includes using the rapidly improving range of vendor-provided calculators, tutorials and tools as well as third party analysis resources, dashboards, price comparators and billing reconciliation services.

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Conclusion: While the increased adoption of public IaaS1 can reduce cost and simplify technology procurement challenges, IaaS does not meet all IT organisations’ sourcing requirements such as legacy applications maintenance and IT service management. Hence, IT organisations are left with no alternative but to use multiple service providers to satisfy all their needs. This will increase clients’ governance cost of service providers and extend the duration of external services acquisition. As a result, a service broker model has emerged to provide one single point of accountability to all sourcing deliverables, simplify go-to-market strategies and fulfil the Cloud migration requirements in a cost-effective manner. IT organisations should assess the applicability of this model to their environment.

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Conclusion: Migrating to Office 365 requires a significantly different set of skills from on-premises office suite upgrades. Traditional skills will need to be reassessed and new skills will be needed internally. Also, some specialist skills are only required during the migration so may best be acquired from experienced external providers. Understanding which skills need to be developed, added or outsourced is essential for a successful and economical Office 365 (O365) migration.

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Related Articles:

"The journey of Office 365: A guiding framework Part 3: Post-implementation" IBRS, 2016-05-05 00:21:00

"The Journey to Office 365" IBRS, 2015-05-01 14:58:56

"The journey to Office 365: A guiding framework Part 1" IBRS, 2016-03-01 04:23:10

"The journey to Office 365: A guiding framework Part 2 migration" IBRS, 2016-04-01 04:43:19

Conclusion: User-centricity, positive customer experiences (CX) and active customer engagement are the necessary central drivers of any business’ digital transformation.

Customer experience trends and issues need to be addressed methodically using a checklist to produce the necessary reviews of current approaches and plans to transform them into best practices.

Systematic use of the tools contained in contact centres, customer relationship management (CRM) solutions, algorithms in apps and communications-enabled business process will be the only responsible path for enterprises committed to improving their customer experience.

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Conclusion: To facilitate business and IT transformation PMOs must be given a role that puts them at the forefront of advising management where best to invest scarce resources in business and IT-related projects whilst ensuring business systems are successfully implemented.

To be successful PMO staff need:

  • People management skills to help project managers reach their potential
  • Business acumen to assess competing claims for funds for business systems projects
  • To be able to shape management’s expectations of what IT can and cannot deliver.

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By Guy Cranswick

The standard method to assess the future is through the type and function of technologies. The starting point is the way new technologies modify processes and thereby rebalance requirements and outputs. An alternative approach is to examine how executive management will adapt to technological innovation, because management maintains longstanding principles and objectives that are noteworthy in the implementation of technologies.

The rate of change can appear dazzling and complicate accurate perceptions and understanding of long-running forces. The way to solve this common problem is to use fundamental principles, or axioms, in order to forecast a plausible view of the future. This method was done in a 1958 Harvard Business Review article (‘Management in the 1980s’, Harold J. Leavitt & Thomas L. Whisler, https://hbr.org/1958/11/management-in-the-1980s), in what transpired to be a remarkably prescient examination on the state of management in the 1980s. The article is also notable for using the phrase ‘information technology’ for the first time.

We propose, in similar spirit, a generational look into the future using the same principles. It should not be read literally. Twenty-five years is too distant to be confident of any forecast and the 1958 paper more closely modelled the 1990s, which demonstrates that forecasts can miss, although not be entirely useless.

Intelligent Business Research Services (IBRS) adviser Joseph Sweeney discussed digital disruption and investment. He said Australia had a “cultural problem” with reinvesting savings from technology back into businesses.

“When you look at Australia’s history of reinvesting in the business — taking profits and ploughing them into technology, by western standards we have very low reinvestment in business. And that’s a cultural issue,” Dr Sweeney said.

Conclusion: Forward thinking IT organisations wishing to create a service differentiation should analyse their value activities to construct a “uniqueness capability”. The outcome should convince business lines that IT services can generate business value at a competitive price. The value chain firstly requires to address service delivery processes by constructing the IT value chain1 , secondly to realise cost advantage2 and thirdly to create service differentiation (this note).

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Conclusion: Office 365, like Google Apps, holds the potential to impact workplace practices through new collaboration capabilities such as real-time co-authorship. However, this potential may only be realised if activities for the Office 365 environment go beyond the traditional post-implementation review plan. Instead, organisations wishing to see genuine changes must create a post-implementation review plan which must assess the extent to which business benefits have been delivered over the long-term.

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Related Articles:

"The Journey to Office 365" IBRS, 2015-05-01 14:58:56

"The journey to Office 365: A guiding framework Part 1" IBRS, 2016-03-01 04:23:10

"The journey to Office 365: A guiding framework Part 2 migration" IBRS, 2016-04-01 04:43:19

"The journey to Office 365: Part 4 – Skills" IBRS, 2016-06-02 00:26:00