Successful IT Transformation: You’d better get a plan!

In 1963, when Bob Dylan wrote the immortal lines….”Then you better start swimmin’ or you’ll sink like a stone for the times they are a-changin'”  … I very much doubt that he envisaged someone nearly 50 years later applying those words to how CIOs are tackling the paradigm shift to Virtualization and Cloud technologies!  

An increasing number of CIOs recognise the need to  adopt Virtualization and Cloud Computing, because the competition and presssure to deliver enhanced business performance is stronger than ever before. The tendency is to come at this from a technical perspective, kicking off pilot initiatives to see how the deployment of Cloud based technologies can solve specific business issues.  It’s a start, but is this approach really going to deliver the step change in business value creation CIOs are looking for?

The real challenge facing CIOs is to determine how to utilise these tools and new technologies to deliver maximum benefit to support the business.  IT transformation does not happen overnight – it is not a one-off journey that you start and then 3 or 5 years later you arrive at your chosen destination.  To be successful, IT transformation needs to be a cyclical iterative process which starts with a clear definition of strategy and goals, and has an inherent flexibility to easily adapt to the business environment around it. For example, with application transformation a typical organization may have hundreds or thousands of applications – only some of which will be suitable for cloud transformation.

One European manufacturer I visited recently had over 2000 applications in product development alone!Deciding which applications to keep in their data centres and which to move to the cloud will be fundamental to the success of the overall transformation of IT.  Making the wrong decisions not only risks security, service quality and user satisfaction, but can also have  a profound effect on a company’s public image and ultimately its profits and market share.With such high levels of risk involved, CIOs must establish a rigorous systematic approach to managing the IT transformation, enabling them to make faster, more informed and accurate decisions about what to transform and when, and where to assign their resources.  That is why organizations are increasingly adopting Project and Portfolio Management best practices and solutions to help govern the planning and execution of a variety of initiatives – from short-term system upgrades to long-term data centre consolidation programmes. 

Using a PPM solution, CIOs can collate current and future strategic goals – whether it involves target server consolidation; adoption of cloud software services; number of data centres; headcount figures; projected cost savings; planned employee reductions; benchmark performance on an ongoing basis in real-time

With the right PPM processes and solution, organisations can centrally manage the entire transformation at every key stage, including: 

  • Defining the strategy and goals both in business and IT terms
  • Mapping the current and target IT state post-transformation
  • Establishing a transition plan and identifying the resources and costs involved
  • Managing the execution of transformation projects
  • Monitoring and reviewing progress both at a project and programme level.

Fundamentally, how CIOs manage the planning and execution of their IT transformation will have a direct impact on its success and value delivered to the business.  A PPM-based approach will not only provide the insight and control needed to drive complex transformation programmes, but will aslo crucially provide the flexibility to adjust plans as market or business conditions dictate.  For further inspiration I invite you to attend ‘The Cloud Connected CIO-Are You Ready to Transform Your Organisation?’ European seminar series started this week in Europe. For more information visit and click on the video below for an update from CA technologies Nadeem Malik who attended today’s seminar in London on HMS Belfast.

After all as Bob said ” the times they are a-changin’.”

Article source: CA PPM Blog

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