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Posted by Brian Hopkins on April 19, 2012
In our Forrsights Business Decision-Makers Survey, Q4 2011, 79% of business executive respondents said that technology will be a key source of innovation for their company, while 71% said that it will be a competitive differentiator. So how well positioned is IT to help firms meet these expectations? Forty-six percent thought that their current IT organization was not well positioned to meet these needs, and 41% thought IT was overly bureaucratic.
I could go on with more data, but the message is clear — business is starving for technology to help it be more innovative, create market differentiation, and lower costs. In the midst of this, IT is mired in a technology mess created by years of underinvestment and business growth by acquisition. What’s going to happen?
The thing I want you to remember is something a client said to me not too long ago that stuck with me, “Starving people will find food.” So the question is: do we feed our starving business or tell them to stay on a diet? And if the latter, what will be the impact if they go scavenging the countryside? We think the answer involves flexibly and rapidly introducing new technology to take advantage of strategic opportunities, while still protecting data, mission-critical applications, and our most precious TCO reduction goals.
Over the last few months I’ve been piecing together Forrester’s agile technology introduction framework to help our clients do just this, and will be unveiling it at my talk on Agile Technology Innovation at the 2012 CIO/EA Forum in Las Vegas on May 3 and 4, and in Paris on June 19 and 20. In advance of that, I wanted to provide a sneak peek at its major components:
The framework is designed to be agile because the time from watch to sponsor can be really short if the case is strong and the risk is acceptable, or longer if the best approach is a future project on the road map. Fit ensures that your plan accounts for current state challenges, strategic road maps, and technology simplification goals, while providing flexible ways to enable new technology. Incubate ensures that there is a clear and fast path to the resources to prove ideas and understand the risk.
At the end of the day, it’s about moving from processes that slowly create only bulletproof solutions (because we are averse to risk) to ones where we move fast, are free to change direction, talk frankly with the business about risk and reward, and ultimately make the right decision.
Looking forward to your feedback here or at the forum.
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