The Agile Architect Part 2: Do I need an Agile IT strategy to have success?
Fact? Most IT strategic frameworks are based on the hypothesis of a stable business environment where technical innovation is slow with predictable and rational customer behaviour.
False. This may have been the case ten to twenty years ago, but it certainly isn’t the case today.
A couple of years ago, I was part of a team developing an IT strategy for a company positioned at the pinnacle of digital transformation. An IT-intensive company struggling for survival due to a changed competitive environment they could not adjust to. Rapid change in technological innovation combined with altered customer behaviour created a new competitive environment that threatened the foundation of their business model.
The fact was that no strategic alignment existed between IT and business. When business requested digital tools to create customer engagement, IT responded by discussing platforms, outsourcing, and a new ITIL framework. It was clear that the current IT strategy did not support business success but rather a tool to make IT successful from an IT perspective.
The question was how the IT strategy could support business in mastering a digital environment full of unpredictability; disruptive trends and customers’ need for experience and engagement. It is important to understand that an IT strategy is not the same as a digital strategy. The two artefacts have entirely different purposes and scope.
IT strategy is about how IT can support business success and competitiveness while the digital strategy takes a more holistic approach (cross-functional) and describes how the company as a whole can create customer experience and engagement.
Customer and Business requirements
- Business/Customers demand and requirements will change continuously (unpredictability)
- Business/Customers have no patience for irrelevant information
- Business/Customers want services that make them successful
- Business/Customers want their services delivered at once without any trouble
- Business/Customers want to be approached in different ways depending on situation