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Career implications for the Business Analyst in the age of digital disruption

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The fact that business and societal change is being fueled by innovative, emerging and disruptive information technologies is well known. Its impacts being felt in almost every facet of life. However, the forces driving the evolution and adoption of such technologies are complex, diverse and not always well understood. In addition, the rate of change is accelerating.

Knowledge intensive IT careers, once considered to be at the forefront of information technology developments are being progressively impacted by the new world of IT, shifting customer expectations and business change.

Question is, how will the IT professions - in particular, the BA - be redefined? More importantly what steps should the BA profession consider taking now, to ensure its continued relevance in years to come

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Career implications for the Business Analyst in the age of digital disruption

  1. 1. The Adaptive BA in the age of Digital Disruption How will the IT professions - in particular, the BA - be redefined in the new Digital era? © All rights reserved – Rob Livingstone Advisory Pty Ltd Presentation by: Rob Livingstone – Principal LivingstoneAdvisory.com IIBA® Australia Chapter Sydney Branch Thursday 27th October
  2. 2. Agenda 1. Challenges facing business leaders in the ‘new world’ of IT 2. The changing role of the IT department 3. Emergence of new disciplines such as data science 4. Explore some of the challenges and opportunities facing today’s BAs, and 5. Some practical guidelines to build future career resilience. 6. Open discussion © All rights reserved – Rob Livingstone Advisory Pty Ltd
  3. 3. 1. Challenges facing business leaders in ‘new world’ of IT Enterprise IT’s complexity and high rate of change is : • Mostly acknowledged, yet • Poorly understood Yet it • Underpins business life as we know it. • Just like sub-atomic particles! © All rights reserved – Rob Livingstone Advisory Pty Ltd
  4. 4. © All rights reserved – Rob Livingstone Advisory Pty Ltd 1. Challenges facing business leaders in ‘new world’ of IT Conventional business leadership practices are failing today’s organisations1 1 Bersin, J., (2015), “Global Human Capital Trends 2015”, Deloitte University Press (Identified a 36% gap between leadership’s importance and readiness rating.)
  5. 5. As a BA can you see the realizable potential in YOUR organisation’s information assets? *PWC “Seizing the information advantage” Sept 2015 (Survey of 1,800 North America and Europe business leaders ) Reality Check • 43% of companies surveyed* "obtain little tangible benefit from their information • 23% "derive no benefit whatsoever,“ • Just 4% fall into the ‘information elite’ category that derive realizable value by: o Well-established information governance insight capabilities o Culture of value realization o Granting secure access to those with the necessary skills. 1. Challenges facing business leaders in ‘new world’ of IT © All rights reserved – Rob Livingstone Advisory Pty Ltd
  6. 6. © All rights reserved – Rob Livingstone Advisory Pty Ltd 1. Challenges facing business leaders in ‘new world’ of IT The challenge facing modern business leaders is in proactively and carefully striking the optimal cost – risk – value balance for any IT or digital initiatives – and keeping it right in the face of constant change. “36% gap between the importance and readiness rating, leadership is the leading factor that underpins organisational excellence and performance” Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends 2015
  7. 7. © All rights reserved – Rob Livingstone Advisory Pty Ltd 1. Challenges facing business leaders in ‘new world’ of IT http://livingstoneadvisory.com/2015/11/executives-digital-literacy/
  8. 8. © All rights reserved – Rob Livingstone Advisory Pty Ltd 1. Challenges facing business leaders in ‘new world’ of IT • Varied opinions and no longer a single ‘source of the truth’ in respect of IT • Who do business leaders trust when it comes to IT or new ‘digital’ initiatives? o Compelling vendor proposition, spellbinding demonstration? o ‘Trusted’ consultants? o Influential, apparently knowledgeable internal experts o Technology evangelists? o Golf club buddy? o CIO? http://www.theperceptionconundrum.com/
  9. 9. Up to about 2005…… After about 2005 You must use this application! I’ve just installed this great cloud application – without IT’s involvement! 1. Challenges facing business leaders in ‘new world’ of IT © All rights reserved – Rob Livingstone Advisory Pty Ltd
  10. 10. © All rights reserved – Rob Livingstone Advisory Pty Ltd 1. Challenges facing business leaders in ‘new world’ of IT Today’s world of IT is substantially different to that of a decade ago. • Modern digital technologies are transforming markets, industries, organisations and reshaping careers. • It also is creating growth opportunities for organisations that have the strategic, tactical and operational capability to fully realize this potential. • Yet organisations still struggle1 to fully exploit the real business potential that both Digital and Information Technologies can offer. 1 Arandjelovic, P., Bulin, L. and Khan, N. [2015], ‘Why CIOs should be business-strategy partners’, McKinsey & Company.
  11. 11. © All rights reserved – Rob Livingstone Advisory Pty Ltd 1. Challenges facing business leaders in ‘new world’ of IT 1 Arandjelovic, P., Bulin, L. and Khan, N. [2015], ‘Why CIOs should be business-strategy partners’, McKinsey & Company.
  12. 12. © All rights reserved – Rob Livingstone Advisory Pty Ltd 1. Challenges facing business leaders in ‘new world’ of IT 1 Arandjelovic, P., Bulin, L. and Khan, N. [2015], ‘Why CIOs should be business-strategy partners’, McKinsey & Company.
  13. 13. © All rights reserved – Rob Livingstone Advisory Pty Ltd • ‘The digital world, however, runs faster than the typical IT department’s default speed.’ • ‘The IT crowd worry that haste has hidden costs’ • ‘Corporate budgets everywhere are under strain, and IT is often still seen as a cost rather than as a source of new business models and revenues’ https://goo.gl/wz8PIZ 2. The changing role of the IT department
  14. 14. Value trumps cost and perfect ‘performance’ – i.e. Meeting all KPIs The business case for shifting IT from being largely a cost center that is subservient to the demand of the business to a high value, strategic enabler for the entire organisation should be clear. …. But it is often not 2. The changing role of the IT department © All rights reserved – Rob Livingstone Advisory Pty Ltd
  15. 15. 2. The changing role of the IT department © All rights reserved – Rob Livingstone Advisory Pty Ltd Integrating and aligning business, IT, Digital and analytics strategies
  16. 16. 2. The changing role of the IT department © All rights reserved – Rob Livingstone Advisory Pty Ltd Build it Broker Drive value 1990s 2000s 2010s Speed of delivery / User impatience / Market agility
  17. 17. 2. The changing role of the IT department © All rights reserved – Rob Livingstone Advisory Pty Ltd https://livingstoneadvisory.com/2014/06/shifting-from-broken-it-services/
  18. 18. 2. The changing role of the IT department © All rights reserved – Rob Livingstone Advisory Pty Ltd SOFT SKILLS ARE HARD Importance of Brand, Marketing and Communications for effective brokerage of IT and digital services • Technologists (engineers, scientists, etc) do not always recognise the relevance and importance of acquiring ‘soft skills’ and related capabilities to their projects, initiatives and even their own careers. • If IT does not sensitively and deliberately control its brand through effective marketing and communications initiatives, others will.
  19. 19. IT reputational damage within the enterprise • Enterprise IT plays a critical part of most organisations and exposed to adverse criticism. (ie: Outage, hack, late project, etc..). Criticism undermined IT’s reputation. • Question is: Who is saying what about your IT department (or you, for that matter)? • Identify what ‘success’ look like in the eyes of your customer groups, then develop specific strategies to test IT’s reputation from time to time. Correlate results • Identify any significant change and look at what’s behind it (ie: What key elements constitute and are driving the change? Change drivers? Economic? Political? ….) • What do you see? • What can you / can’t you influence? © All rights reserved – Rob Livingstone Advisory Pty Ltd 2. The changing role of the IT department
  20. 20. 2. The changing role of the IT department © All rights reserved – Rob Livingstone Advisory Pty Ltd The new IT: From Cost Center to Value Driver If the IT department is seen primarily as an expense in the eyes of the business, the focus will be on cost reduction. • This may lead to missed business opportunities. • Valuetrumpscostinanyinvestment,andenterpriseITisnodifferent. • In many instances, the ‘value’ of IT cannot be clearly and precisely defined in the eyes of the business. • IT bears the ‘cost’ – Business drive ‘value’ • Critical success factor: How is IT’s ‘value’ perceived across the organisation and its customers? Old: Technology-centric cost centre. New: Sustained business relevance
  21. 21. © All rights reserved – Rob Livingstone Advisory Pty Ltd 3. Emergence of new disciplines such as data science https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/06/ 10-jobs-that-didn-t-exist-10-years-ago/ Recently created IT / Digital industry roles: • Big Data engineer • Mobile App developer (iOS/Android) • CX/UX analyst and designer • Digital Analytics • SEO • Social media analytics • Digital marketing • Cloud services specialist • Data scientist • Augmented reality engineer / developer • IoT architect
  22. 22. 3. Emergence of new disciplines such as data science © All rights reserved – Rob Livingstone Advisory Pty Ltd “The data scientist role is critical for organizations looking to extract insight from information assets for “big data” initiatives and requires a broad combination of skills that may be fulfilled better as a team, for example: Collaboration and team work is required for working with business stakeholders to understand business issues. Analytical and decision modeling skills are required for discovering relationships within data and detecting patterns. Data management skills are required to build the relevant dataset used for the analysis” http://www.gartner.com/it-glossary/data-scientist/ “Data Science is an interdisciplinary field that combines machine learning, statistics, advanced analysis, and programming. It is a new form of art that draws out hidden insights and puts data to work in the cognitive era.” http://www.ibm.com/analytics/ us/en/technology/data-science/
  23. 23. 3. Emergence of new disciplines such as data science © All rights reserved – Rob Livingstone Advisory Pty Ltd From Data to Information to Insights INSIGHTS THE HARD BIT JOIN THE DOTS GATHER DATA - Organisational culture - Multidisciplinary collaboration - Analysis (qualitative, quantitative, statistical, optimization, stochastic ) - Context - Identify actions - Risk - Experience - Correlation, causation, independent & dependent variables, etc - Hypothesis Testing - Simulation, testing, validation INCREASINGVALUE
  24. 24. 3. Emergence of new disciplines such as data science © All rights reserved – Rob Livingstone Advisory Pty Ltd Cartoon by Mark Stevenson
  25. 25. Who is responsible for what? Overcoming the challenge of role confusion 4. Challenges and opportunities facing today’s BAs © All rights reserved – Rob Livingstone Advisory Pty Ltd
  26. 26. 4. Challenges and opportunities facing today’s BAs © All rights reserved – Rob Livingstone Advisory Pty Ltd https://livingstoneadvisory.com/2015/08/digital-strategy-challenge/ What does ‘Digital’ mean to your organisation? Who ‘owns’ the digital strategy in your organisation?
  27. 27. 4. Challenges and opportunities facing today’s BAs © All rights reserved – Rob Livingstone Advisory Pty Ltd Where BAs can be a game changer Fact #1: Majority of established organisations structured along functional lines Fact #2: The enterprise-wide interdependencies between differing systems, technologies, information taxonomies, governance and risk profiles, are not well understood at the leadership level. Fact #3: BAs have expertise in the architecture and governance of complex, interdependent enterprise technologies and processes. Result: Do BAs offer untapped potential to add substantial business value by harnessing these insights?
  28. 28. 4. Challenges and opportunities facing today’s BAs © All rights reserved – Rob Livingstone Advisory Pty Ltd BABOK V3 Page 27 Proactive in: • Identifying business value drivers …. • Triggering innovation initiatives …. • Driving business transformation • ……..??? PROACTIVE??
  29. 29. 4. Challenges and opportunities facing today’s BAs © All rights reserved – Rob Livingstone Advisory Pty Ltd Adding the last – most critical step – in ‘Design Thinking’ From Data to Information to Insights to sustainable actionable results EMPATHISE DEFINE IDEATE PROTOTYPE TEST Key ingredients in Design Thinking ‘Direction through Disruption - A guide to career resilience during rapid technology and workplace change’. Rob Livingstone ISBN-13:978-1500136819
  30. 30. The reality is that we are all living in a complex system with many confounding influences at play. • The Internet of Things (IoT) • Blockchain (underpins Bitcoin) • Drones • Big Data • Cognitive computing • IoT • Advanced analytics • Mobility • Cloud • Social • Apps • Platforms ……… © All rights reserved – Rob Livingstone Advisory Pty Ltd 5. Some practical guidelines to build future career resilience ‘Direction through Disruption - A guide to career resilience during rapid technology and workplace change’. Rob Livingstone ISBN-13:978-1500136819
  31. 31. 5. Some practical guidelines to build future career resilience © All rights reserved – Rob Livingstone Advisory Pty Ltd TRUST Key attributes that underpin IT career resilience
  32. 32. Democratisation rules! © All rights reserved – Rob Livingstone Advisory Pty Ltd 5. Some practical guidelines to build future career resilience ‘Direction through Disruption - A guide to career resilience during rapid technology and workplace change’. Rob Livingstone ISBN-13:978-1500136819 How will the march of democratisation impact your future career prospects?
  33. 33. Democratisation rules! © All rights reserved – Rob Livingstone Advisory Pty Ltd 5. Some practical guidelines to build future career resilience http://www.oxfordmartin.ox.ac.uk/downloads /academic/The_Future_of_Employment.pdf
  34. 34. © All rights reserved – Rob Livingstone Advisory Pty Ltd SOFT SKILLS ARE HARD Acquire ability to influence those over whom you have no authority Influence? Authority?? Key ingredients include: • Professional and personal resilience – always have options. • Hone skills for empathy • Critical thinking – not criticism! • Professionalism • Perceptiveness • Dissociation – It’s not your business! • Build trust 5. Some practical guidelines to build future career resilience
  35. 35. 5. Some practical guidelines to build future career resilience © All rights reserved – Rob Livingstone Advisory Pty Ltd 1. Don’t think of yourself as an employee: Your career is your business 2. Taking control over your career is a prerequisite in the evolution towards your own individual career empowerment. 3. Recognise that: • Being an excellent employee does not automatically result in you having a resilient career. • While your current employer may dictate the terms of your employment, you should be the one in charge of your career. 4. If you are employed as an expert in a specific domain of knowledge, how can you increase your effectiveness in bridging the divide between your expertise and those that don’t see it as intrinsically valuable? 5. Ask yourself: “If this was my business, what would I do with my job to make it better, cheaper, faster and more effective?” 6. Validate the fundamental assumptions you have made about your job, employer or career (If you've made any, that is!)
  36. 36. 5. Some practical guidelines to build future career resilience © All rights reserved – Rob Livingstone Advisory Pty Ltd These competencies are fundamental – and go well beyond the Agile Perspective
  37. 37. 5. Some practical guidelines to build future career resilience © All rights reserved – Rob Livingstone Advisory Pty Ltd Assess your own mental model of the world – and it’s impact on your career. ‘Direction through Disruption - A guide to career resilience during rapid technology and workplace change’. Rob Livingstone ISBN-13:978-1500136819
  38. 38. © All rights reserved – Rob Livingstone Advisory Pty Ltd Open Discussion Visit us at: Livingstoneadvisory.com

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