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: Telstra’s new shared access WiFi service Telstra Air solves the problems of users’ limited access to WiFi away from their own home, office or WiFi Hotspots by sharing some of other users’ WiFi capacity (2Mbps on a land line).

It uses globally deployed Fon services which also have massive capital expenditure reduction benefits for fixed and mobile telecommunications carriers and global roaming benefits for Internet service providers and users.

Enterprises should evaluate this type of architecture and service for use in novel ways to brand, differentiate and transform their customer engagement. Shared WiFi access to the Internet is another example of recent trends in the ‘sharing’ economy such as airbnb, Uber, GoGet carshare and others that create practical value.

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Conclusion: Microsoft’s consumer-led strategy for Windows 10 will create ‘pester power’ for the new OS within the enterprise. However, simply upgrading to Windows 10 will re-entrench old assumptions, and continue an out-dated SOE model, yet with no additional business value. An alternative approach is to delay the introduction of Window 10 while a new digital workspaces strategy is developed to transform the business environment. A digital workspace strategy will take time to define and execute, so the CIO must prepare activities to avoid the negative impact of pester-power, while engaging the business in a re-envisioning of the work environment.

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Conclusion: One IT-as-a-Service strategy remains to migrate legacy systems to SaaS to reduce cost, improve service level and achieve excellence in end user experience. However, large-scale ERP SaaS migrations are still not imminent, primarily due to the significant ERP customisation made by Australian organisations during the last twenty years, which prevent the use of standard SaaS architecture without re-engineering the business processes. However, it is worth noting that there are third party ERP maintenance and support services, which used in the short term may result in up-to 50 % reduction in the current yearly maintenance and support cost.

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Conclusion: In order to develop an IT transformation program it is important to understand today’s operational and workplace context and use the insights gained to shape the way change can be achieved with a minimum of risk.

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Conclusion: There are almost no examples of traditional organisations metamorphosing their physical products (and related business models) into digital products (supported by new business models). On the other hand the list of organisations that have gone out of business as a result of the digital revolution continues to grow. Three characteristics are common to non-digital organisations that have lost out to digital competitors.

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Conclusion: Based on usage patterns and personalisation MCPs (Smartphones and Tablets) offer an opportunity to build a more intimate relationship with customers. While there is great opportunity there are some technology and cultural challenges that need to be addressed.

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Conclusion: The Workspace of the Future is a vision statement on how staff and stakeholders will perform tasks related to their work in the next decade. It includes technological innovation (e. g. mobility, Cloud, data analytics), organisation transformation (e. g. activity-based working) and cultural change (e. g. social, collaboration). To realise this vision, especially given its all-encompassing and potentially transformational impact, requires a strategy that is specifically crafted to fit with an organisation’s long-term objectives. Part of this strategy is a complete rethink of end user computing, by challenging desktop era assumptions.

However, challenging assumptions is difficult. To gain clarity, IBRS recommends mapping assumptions to principles and business impacts. By conducting an assumption mapping exercise, organisations may begin to not only communicate the need for change within both IT and business groups but, also, uncover potential for fundamental business transformation.

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Conclusion: With the local availability of VMware’s Infrastructure as a Service (vCloud Air), all Australian VMware customers should consider it for self-service dev/test environments, virtual desktops, and more importantly DR as a Service (DRaaS). Savvy CIOs will use low risk, low cost practical experiments to develop in-house skills and experience while delivering new capabilities to the business that leads to real adoption of IaaS over the next 18 months.

The risk to CIOs who do not start adopting IaaS is that IT staff and/or business units embark on their own projects in an uncontrolled fashion leading to IT fragmentation and loss of control over the IT strategy.

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Conclusion: Nearly all organisations recognise that the world, their industry, and their customers are changing. Evidence of that realisation can be seen in company restructures, strategy and vision documents, and the discourse used by executive management. Change vocabulary such as transformation, innovation, anything Cloud, as-a-service or mobile is widely used. However, history shows that even highly successful companies find change and transformation difficult, with icons such as Novell and Netscape either failing completely or being relegated to market followers.

Review of these and similar organisations shows that being overly committed to a previously winning formula, misreading the market and competition dynamics or responding to market changes too slowly were common missteps.

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Conclusion: Digital disruption is now a given in every industry vertical, although each is impacted in its own distinctive ways.

The drivers for connecting everything and transforming business are the desires for improving corporate agility and personal productivity. The use of utility information and communications technologies (ICT) such as Cloud and Mobility is proving to be a key enabler of Digital Transformation for any size of private or public sector business in any sector.

Transformation, agility and productivity are coming from hyper-connected people and processes.

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Conclusion: IT organisations adopting IT-as-a-Service strategies tend to acquire the best of breed services from the market instead of building them in-house. This leads to increased adoption of multi-sourced services, whereby reliable governance processes are critical success factors to realise the desired business benefits in a timely and cost-effective manner.

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Conclusion: the Department of Finance has produced a Cloud Policy that is linked to a paper about Cloud implementation that does not mention modern Cloud architecture, which in turn is linked to an architecture paper that does not mention Cloud.

Agencies looking to adopt Cloud services are advised to look for advice beyond the Australian Government’s Cloud Policy and its supporting documents.

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Conclusion: moving to an activity based working (ABW) environment is a complex multifactor project. Organisations can take stock of their readiness to approach activity based working by using the maturity model. The model will assist in developing the planning criteria required for any ABW strategy.

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Conclusion: in the publication ‘Running-IT-as-a-Service part 4’, IBRS defined how Service Value Agreements can be constructed by correlating business performance metrics with IT service levels. This note describes how Service Value Agreements can be constructed by aligning IT service levels with business service levels and processes. As a result, meeting or exceeding SLA targets will demonstrate the IT organisation’s contribution to business performance improvement and cost reduction undertakings.

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Conclusion: organisations planning to move to Microsoft Cloud-based Office 365 should first examine and segment their workforce to identify the most appropriate mix of Office 365 editions (which Microsoft calls SKUs) for staff, and then examine Microsoft’s various licensing options. Organisations with existing enterprise agreements need to be particularly careful with the latter, not so much to avoid compliance issues, but rather to minimise spend.

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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: 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

Conclusion: the adoption of Cloud-based applications and data, the proliferation of mobile devices (i.e. Smartphones and Tablets) and the increased interest in BYOD is driving a radical change in end user computing. The old device-centric model, based on a stateful Windows desktop, is being replaced by an application-centric model where device state is transient. While this is not yet the end of the Windows desktop, the beginning of the end has arrived.

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Conclusion: email and basic collaboration services have reached a point where Cloud-based solutions deliver features, quality of service and reliability at price points that cannot be met by the vast majority of in-house IT groups. The question is not should an organisation move its email and basic collaborations services to the Cloud, or even when an organisation should move to the Cloud, but what additional collaboration services will move to the Cloud at the same time.

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Conclusion: when managing both client server (legacy) and Anything-as-a-Service (XaaS) environment it is important the legacy environment does not constrain the potentially superior XaaS environment.

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Conclusion: IT organisations adopting IT-as-a-Service practices are often challenged by limited resources to meet service demands, especially in the IT Operations space. IT operations groups should develop supply/demand models that link to business priorities and ensure funds allocation. These models will enable IT organisations to meet client necessities, clear workload backlogs, and set the foundation for effective resource management methods.

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Conclusion: softening business conditions in Australia demand that IT operations executives find current cost (cash) savings, optimise the cost of existing operations and/or make valuable new contributions to the enterprise by leveraging networking technologies and practices throughout IT.

IBRS has identified ten practical ways to cut enterprise networking costs while preparing to execute a business’s digital strategy.

Expect to obtain a mix of cost savings, cost optimisation and revenue contributions from networking. Aim to create business insights into making savings from using communications creatively rather than just connecting data, processes, devices and people.

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Conclusion: with the increased adoption of SaaS for business systems (e. g. ERP), new SaaS providers continue to appear in the market. While those providers are offering easy-to-use products and low start-up costs compared to running in-house business systems services, there is a risk that some service providers might cease to do business. As a result, SaaS clients will be at risk recovering services on time and without data loss. To address this issue, several escrow services have been evolving. IT organisations wishing to migrate critical services to public SaaS should explore escrow1 services. Unfortunately, escrow service costs have to-date been fully absorbed by the buyer. In this light, IT organisations should incorporate the escrow services cost into the SaaS migration business case.

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Conclusion: To meet the demand for more online services, IT and business management must identify and filter the opportunities and vigorously pursue those with high client visibility, ensure adherence to legislation and reduce the cost of doing business.

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Conclusion: Enterprise mobility provides opportunities for fundamental shifts in: how organisations interact with stakeholders; how work gets done; where work happens; and how organisations are structured. Mobility itself is not a single product, but the result of the intersection of changes in technology, economics, and culture. Ultimately, enterprise mobility will evolve into a culture that is synonymous with Continuous Quality Improvement1. An enterprise mobility maturity assessment can assist an organisation in identifying which areas it needs to address as it moves towards the new culture.

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Conclusion: When moving from traditional on-premises IT to Cloud it is important to update the Business Leaders and Executive on the risks. Rather than try to quantify the absolute risks, as the first step in gaining acceptance, explain how the risks of Cloud compare with the current on-premises, or MSP, solution. Offer ideas on risk mitigation that might be necessary and liberally apply simple examples and analogies to aid comprehension.

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Conclusion: Running IT-as-a-Service requires offering broad IT services tied to external-value that goes beyond meeting or exceeding SLA targets. This is because the majority of existing SLAs are IT centric and vaguely relate to business value. Much of this issue is related to IT Groups’ lack of business analysis skills and IT ad hoc methods to comprehend business strategic requirements. As a result, business lines perceive IT as a support function instead of being a strategic business partner.

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Conclusion: The first generation of the Internet of Things (IoT) is now reliably internetworking uniquely identifiable embedded computer devices.

However, the emerging Internet of Everything (IoE) will go beyond the IoT and its machine-to-machine (M2M) communications between devices, systems and services. The demands from popular consumer IT will lead to a broad adoption of IoE in enterprises although corporations will focus on the IoE for its business process improvement.

Use of common collaboration tools will become the most prevalent and valuable way to extend isolated low level IoT interactions into sophisticated orchestrated IoE apps that deliver valuable experiences and tangible benefits to both consumers and corporate users.

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Many Australian IT organisations have been implementing Configuration Management practices since 1994. However, with limited success when assessed against the key objectives of Configuration Management process and its associated database (CMDB).

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Conclusion: Once an organisation decides its on-premises IT infrastructure model must be transformed into a Hybrid Cloud model the important question becomes “how is this best achieved?” While Cloud Native applications and Dev/Test infrastructure are the typical first steps they do not address the Enterprise applications that are central to most enterprises.

An emerging transformational strategy is one based on Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS). This is a low cost, low risk, incremental approach to transforming on-premises IT infrastructure into a Hybrid Cloud infrastructure. The DRaaS leaders in Australia will be VMware, Microsoft and AWS in that order.

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Conclusion: Cloud migration should not be a quick and dirty job just to upload the current business systems with their inefficiencies, only to get rid of the in-house hardware ownership. It should be considered as an opportunity to clean IT and business inefficiencies at the same time. IT organisations wishing to migrate to public Cloud require a new methodology to avoid incurring unforeseen consumption cost and to address business processes overheads. Strategies are needed to measure code inefficiencies and develop a remedy roadmap whilst building the case for public Cloud. Only efficient code should be released to public Cloud unless there are other benefits which make the overall migration cost-effective. This will ensure IaaS usage remains within IT budget.

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Conclusion: Organisations that have made a move to Google in an effort to reduce their reliance on the incumbent Microsoft Office Suite have found that migrating from Microsoft involves far more than just human change management. Technological linkages with the Office desktop client(s) hold back organisations’ transfer to the Cloud. Before implementing Cloud-based productivity tools, an organisation should examine just how ‘sticky’ Microsoft Office is within their organisation, and should plan on how to become ‘unstuck’.

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Conclusion: To reduce Service Desk costs and improve resources scheduling, some IT organisations are exploring the potential of Virtual Service Desk Agents to either improve self-service and/or reach to the right subject matter expert at the right time. However self-service success depends on the quality of information available to the virtual agents. It is critical for the virtual agent tool to be enabled by a mature service management engine that describes the service’s known errors and their resolution alternatives. Failure to do so will leave the virtual agent with no alternative but to call the live agents, thereby making the investment in virtual agent technology questionable.

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Conclusion: The popularity and growth of online social media platforms has pushed social data into the spotlight. Humans using the Web mainly interact with human-produced data. Yet the floods of machine-generated data that flow through the Internet remain invisible to humans. For a number of reasons attempts by organisations to mine big social data to improve marketing and to increase sales will fall significantly short of expectations. Data from digital devices and sensor networks that are part of the Internet of Things is eclipsing human produced data. Machines have replaced humans as the most social species on the planet, and this must inform the approach to data science and the development of healthy economic ecosystems.

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While hyper-scale vendors have been a little slow in opening data centres in the Australian market, the anecdotal evidence is the take-up is very strong:

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Conclusion: When implementing enterprise Cloud services, a disciplined and locally distributed approach to user acceptance testing in combination with real-time dashboards for test management and defect management can be used as the centrepiece of a highly scalable quality assurance framework. An effective quality assurance process can go a long way to minimise risks, and to ensure a timely and successful rollout.

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Conclusion: IT organisations developing IT policies in isolation from business units1 will face challenges to tie policies to business drivers and limit policies acceptance rate. IT organisations should formulate policies by involving business units at an early stage in policy scope discussion. IT best practices2 should be leveraged to develop reliable and practical policies. The resources needed to develop the new policies should come from both sides and a business benefits realisation plan should jointly be developed and tracked.

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Conclusion: The development of new digital services often entails not only changes to workflows but also changes to the business rules that must be enforced by software. Whilst vendors of business rule engine technology often market their products as powerful and highly generic tools, the best results are achieved when restricting the use of the different approaches to specific use cases.

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Conclusion: Business-centric IT strategies are critical to run IT-as-a-Service1 because they attempt to integrate IT with business strategies. The rationale is to support business operations by implementing new technologies that reduce business risks, create business opportunities and achieve high levels of customer satisfaction.

Business-centric IT strategies focus on addressing the business critical issues by implementing new IT solutions in a timely and cost-effective manner. The proposed IT solutions should provide capabilities that address the current and emerging market forces such as consumerisation, mobility, social media and Cloud. This will signal to business lines that IT is being modernised to meet consumers’ exigent needs.

It is critical for business-centric IT strategies to be developed within two months to accelerate IT-as-a-Service transitioning.

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Conclusion: Vendor offerings for end-to-end solutions for ‘self-service desktops’ are both limited and immature. Furthermore, organisations are likely to have many of the individual components that comprise a self-service desktop solution. For the next 4-6 years end-user computing cycle, organisations should look to construct self-service portals from existing point solutions, rather than looking for a pre-integrated stack.

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Conclusion: To improve business performance and/or reduce the cost of doing business, forward-thinking IT organisations are trying to run IT as a Service. However, they are challenged by long software implementation timescales, fragmented delivery processes and insufficient skilled resources to meet business demands.

To address these challenges, IT organisations should emulate the commercial practices related to delivering quality IT solutions at reasonable costs.

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Conclusion: There are many different Hybrid Cloud approaches, each with different costs, risks and benefits. Organisations should evaluate the alternatives to find which is best aligned to their business requirements, then update IT governance processes to guide the organisation towards the chosen Hybrid Cloud strategy. Failure to align to the right Hybrid Cloud strategy will either result in the creation of new IT silos, which becomes a barrier to the business strategy, or will adopt an approach that stifles business innovation and agility.

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