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Aligning Corporate Business Goals with Technology

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Presented at InnoTech Oregon 2013. All rights reserved.

Presented at InnoTech Oregon 2013. All rights reserved.

Published in: Technology, Business

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  • 1. Aligning Corporate BusinessGoals with TechnologyChris Yetman, SVP Business Process & Technology
  • 2. 2Digital Natives and Immigrants.+ Digital Immigrants: Those of us who were not born into the DigitalWorld and adopted it later in our lives. Even if you‟ve been in IT for morethan 20 years and feel you „grew up with it‟ you‟re still an immigrantcompared to the majority of younger people / employees in yourcompany, users of your applications who grew up with from toddlers tocollege grads with smart phones and tablets in hand that they have usedsince before they grew out of diapers.+ Digital Natives: Most employees are now “native speakers” of the digitallanguage of computers, video games and the Internet. They are used totechnology. They grew up with it as part of normal life and have grown toexpect everything digital to be easily obtained with no hassle and nowaiting. They don‟t care how hard you think it is to deploy a solution. Ifthey can‟t get what they want from you, they search quickly and findalternate routes to the data they want leaving you in the digital dust.Technology you trust. People you know.
  • 3. 3End users are no longer ignorant of technology+ Your employees or users of your applications are no longer ignorant oftechnology:• They can find functionality off of the shelf that would rival applications itmight have taken IT organizations months or years to develop.• They are getting more and more used to having it NOW. Justdownload the application and go. (Users of commodity technologyhave adopted a “Good enough now” approach to IT)• They are the most savvy digital users we have ever dealt with. Itdoesn‟t matter if they don‟t appreciate how much work it took to make itlook so easy for them. Why should they care?• A terrific example of this is the BYOD approach people are adopting.Even when you don‟t adopt it, people bring their own tech to thetable whether or not you want to support it.• If you can‟t provide a working laptop or mobile device on the day theyarrive they could go to BestBuy and get one that works and could bequickly integrated.Technology you trust. People you know.
  • 4. 4Infrastructure is now a commodity+ January 2012: 762 Billion Objects Stored on Amazon‟s AWS S3 Cloud.+ March 2012: Data Center Knowledge article estimates that Amazon‟sAWS infrastructure contains at least 454,000 servers (that they couldfind).+ Virtualization allows you to not only better utilize the infrastructure but itallows you to replicate and move from host to host on demand.+ Machine images can deploy in 6 minutes what used to take 6 weeks toorder, build and deploy.+ July 2012: Netflix releases the Chaos Monkey to the wild. Fault tolerantinfrastructure is a thing of the past. Chaos Monkey destroys wholemachine instances and the software recovers the environment. Thisallows the software to run on any cloud any white label hardware and stillbe more redundant than solutions costing significantly more.Technology you trust. People you know.
  • 5. 5Infrastructure is now a commodity+ Cloud providers have scale most of us can‟t achieve and virtualizationthat allows for auto scaling of storage and servers.+ Not only can you scale up quickly but (and perhaps more importantly)you can scale down quickly.+ When you are working with providers who can deliver infrastructure thatyou can rent for less than you can build and maintain for yourself, youpay less and then also only pay for what you need.+ Run a campaign? No problem!• Ramp up, deliver a result, ramp down.+ Overestimate and build more machines than needed for the load? Noproblem, toss them back and stop paying rent.+ Server down? No problem, automate away to another waiting server.Technology you trust. People you know.
  • 6. 6Software is fast becoming a commodity.+ NETSUITE (ERP)+ Salesforce.com (CRM)+ ServiceNow (Service Desk)• (Users accept the imposition of standardization in the Cloud (which they havetrouble with from internal IT) – Why? Because the Cloud gives them “Good enoughnow”, rather than “Perfect Later”)+ With standard process definition, Software is quickly being commoditized.+ Processes are central to the Organization and not a commodity.+ IT should be the brain trust of Organization‟s Processes.+ Building Software should not be the Core Competency of IT Departments.+ One Patch by Salesforce.com fixes thousands of its customers.+ SaaS companies can over subscribe and FLEX allowing IT departments torespond instantly to increased demand with little or no delays.Technology you trust. People you know.
  • 7. 7What about Big Data and Analytics?+ Big data and analytics are changing how businesses react to trends, customersand competition.+ Stop waiting for people to tell you what they want to see in reporting andanalytics. (inside out versus outside in)• Collect and ingest as much as you can find/generate.• Focus on having the data available without having to go hunt for it.• The data needed to solve analytical challenges should already be on-hand.• Worry about performance after you get your answers. Finding data you don‟thave easy access to is harder than waiting for a sub optimized report.• Storage is cheap!+ Ultra-large computing capacities may be needed – you can’t build it or own ityourself more cost effectively than you can rent it.+ Data administrators will become less important than data scientists and dataexplorers+ Consider offerings like AWS‟ Redshift. You can rent 1TB of fast query warehousefor $1K/year.Technology you trust. People you know.
  • 8. 8It‟s not what you build, it‟s how you integrate.+ Digital Natives – For them IT has been consumerized and is now acommodity. They can do more in their hands than many of us could do withentire data centers a decade ago. (of course they can because they havemultiple data centers backing them up from the cloud)+ Those consuming IT resources already treat it like the commodity it isbecoming. No more FUD from IT is tolerated. When you tell them how hardit is they think you‟re a whiner.+ BYOD – It‟s about self empowerment and not about the devices and supportfor them.+ Cloud – It‟s all about the model and not the technology. I would be afraid tobe a high end server manufacturer right about now. The right softwarerunning on commodity hardware will win on cost, performance andavailability.+ If you continue to hold on to the old familiar ways of providing IT solutionsyou will eventually (maybe sooner than you‟d like) be replaced by peopleembracing the new models providing better service at lower costs.Technology you trust. People you know.
  • 9. 9Role of IT in a Modern Organization+ Role of IT is to make organizations efficient and protect data using technologyas a tool.+ Processes sit at the heart of automation, Software is a tool to automateprocess.+ IT‟s strength should be the knowledge of it‟s Organization‟s process and theexpertise to automate these processes using software.+ IT should be more of a consumer of technology as opposed to the generator.+ Most IT Organizations are technology focused today. They know how to make anengine (Code) but do not know how to drive the car (the business).+ IT needs to be at the forefront with the business, building expertise in what isproprietary to Organization.+ Old organizations think IT is a service, New organizations think IT is strategic.+ Many IT departments have been caught off guard with this rapid transition andare stuck with the legacy systems, personnel, and approach. What‟s worse isthey are married to them for fear of losing control of what they built (or losing theirjobs).Technology you trust. People you know.
  • 10. 10What does IT deliver?Technology you trust. People you know.This and the following two slides were shamelessly ripped off andreformatted from an excellent presentation by Terry White of CXO Advisor.This is what CEOs want
  • 11. 11What percentage does IT typically deliver?+ Sadly, it usually looks a lot like this:CXO Advisor: Based on an analysis of100 IT strategies
  • 12. 12What does the business want from IT?+ Go ahead and ask your CEO what she wants from IT.
  • 13. 13Stop building start driving!+ Stop taking orders for engines.+ Ask your stakeholders about what‟s holding up their business.• What would enable them to accelerate revenue?• What would enable them to reduce churn?• What would enable them to improve customer service?+ While they may answer in terms of „systems‟ what they are reallydescribing and you need to listen for, is the business problem.+ Your role is to understand the business problem and the processesthat support the business so that you can determine what about theprocess needs to change in order to solve the problem.+ Then go find and implement technology that helps support andaddress the needed change in the processes that are required toimprove the business.Technology you trust. People you know.
  • 14. 14Driving behavior and changing goals.+ By all means, manage by objective. Please! However, if your objective isto deliver system X by date Y then you need to re-think what you aredoing.+ Your business goals and objectives should be focused on the BUSINESSnot the technology or the delivery of systems.+ If you can‟t measure X and Y; the first goal should be to measure X and Y.+ Once measured, you can ask the business owner what success lookslike.+ Then change your goals from deploying system X by date Y to improvingthe business . Focus on the business result and not the engine.+ A better (and more scary way) to define IT goals:+ Deliver performance from X to Y for an improvement of Z.+ Define success in business terms. You are not succeedingwhen the business is failing.Technology you trust. People you know.
  • 15. 15Some goal examples:+ Reduce order entry from 3 hours to 2 hours for an improvement of33% by September 30 2013.• This is scary because you don‟t directly control the order entry teams.However, if you‟ve bought into driving the business, then you woulddive into their process with them to understand the process problemsthat cause the longer order intervals and then design with them a newprocess and then go automate as much of it as possible.• This is driving a business result and not simply dropping off an enginefor them to drive and then absolving yourself when they fail.+ Increase automated deployment of product ABC from 28% to 65%for an improvement of 160% by December 31 2013.• Again, working with the teams that deploy the product ,understand theprocess and determine where current automation is lacking and definethe process needed to improve the yield. Get your teams focused ondeploying change in process and technology to drive/automate it!Technology you trust. People you know.
  • 16. 16Listen past the software and hardware examples+ Stop delivering technology first.+ Customers speak in terms of what they have seen or know. So they use tool andtechnology references to frame their ask. See past that and focus on thebusiness problem they are trying to solve.• Time to market?• Fewer failures?• Key product features?+ When they say “I know that when I was at my old company we had a illudium Q-36 explosive space modulator and it did everything for us” they are drawing ontheir experience which is natural.+ You need to use your experience as a driver of technology toapply the correct process changes and technology to supportthem. Solve their business problem! If that means you get tobuild the illudium Q-36 explosive space modulator then that issimply a bonus!Technology you trust. People you know.Start thinking about “proof of concept” rather than projects – deliver the POC,before you prepare the PowerPoint presentation – only show real results, notintentions
  • 17. 17What does this mean for IT?+ IT should seek to understand and define the business problem/goal.+ IT should dive into the processes used to deliver the current objectivesand determine what needs to change in order to deliver the desiredperformance.+ IT needs to stop making excuses for why they need to build it.Someone can frequently build it cheaper, better and faster than you.+ IT needs to be the leader in managing technology. If you don‟t theDigital Natives will render you irrelevant as they route around you andmake you both ineffective and miserable.+ Process experience is valued as much as technology experience,change the shape of your teams.+ Data Analytics are more important than database administrators,change the shape of your teams.+ IT’s success is measured by the business’s success.Technology you trust. People you know.
  • 18. 18Summary+ Your success is measured by your ability to directly drive the business goals andimprovements.+ You are now living in a world that is commoditizing many of the tools you used to build aspart of the company‟s secret sauce.+ Sustainable advantage (the new secret sauce) is gained by using the lowestcost commodity tools and applying the best processes and procedures thatyour competitors can’t easily replicate.+ Embrace a model of driving technology and not building it. Otherwise someone else drivingit will run you over.Process Leads and Automation Follows!Technology you trust. People you know.Do it to yourself before someone does it to you
  • 19. 19Questions?Technology you trust. People you know.