Transform Your IT Team Into an Innovative Anticipator
“Business leaders want IT to be more than strategic partners. The goal now is for IT leaders to actually drive business opportunities -- to be innovative anticipators.”
This quote is from an article Ouellette & Associates (O&A) CEO Dan Roberts wrote for CIO.com that dives into why IT-business alignment simply isn’t cutting it anymore. O&A has helped more than 3,000 organizations transition their IT groups from reactive, technology-centric order-takers to proactive, customer-centric business leaders. They developed the IT Maturity Curve to better understand the IT-business relationship and determine what it takes for IT to go beyond partnering with the business to actually leading the business. At this stage, IT can position the organization to fight off disruption while driving transformation and disruption themselves.
Four Stages of the IT Maturity Curve
Stage 1: IT Supplier. Here, IT just provides basic services. IT is generally unaware of new business initiatives. There’s frankly a lack of trust, and IT is highly subject to outsourcing.
Stage 2: Solution Provider. At this stage, IT has proven effective at taking orders and building efficient solutions. The CIO is eventually called in to support business initiatives that are already underway.
Stage 3: Strategic Partner. Long celebrated as the ultimate achievement: IT serves as a trusted advisor, embedded into the business. Efficient and responsive, this IT org is good at communicating the value of IT and sits at the first meeting when a new opportunity arises.
Stage 4: Innovative Anticipator. Beyond the strategic partner is the IT organization whose culture of innovation and business acumen enable it to look around the corner and see business opportunities and risks. You’re not just attending business meetings; you’re calling them to discuss new ways to drive revenue, facilitated by data and technology. Here, the CIO is a true business leader.
So the big question is, how do you move up the IT maturity curve and how can you plan to strategically evolve over time?