December 19, 2012
We all recognized the gathering storm clouds, but few of us appreciated the extent to which the financial collapse of 2008 would derail the economy. Organizations that once dominated their industries, such as General Motors, were left with years of bloated and outdated business models. At many organizations, the level of innovation simply dried up. Those that were too slow or blind to shifting technological landscapes have fallen by the wayside, but those that have adopted a culture of innovation have survived and prospered.
Increased Access to Information
The rise of consumer channels, like Facebook and internet posting sites, has shifted direct control away from many established organizations. The consumer now has the ability to buy and compare insurance, health-care, automobiles and college classes, all at the click of a mouse.
Poor service and poor quality are quickly exposed and broadcasted to the masses. Yet, many organizations have adapted and taken advantage of the well-informed consumer. Harnessing these new channels requires a flexible and agile enterprise, capable of reacting to shifting consumer demands.
Organizations can no longer afford to be tied to outdated servers or locked into solutions based on overall hardware investment or outdated business process designs. Nor can they afford to spend valuable time and resources gathering requirements only to receive an inefficient and limited end-solution a year later.
Modern organizations must be able to work side-by-side and find flexible solutions that are deliverable in a matter of weeks or months, not years.
Sync IT with Business
Today’s successful companies constantly refine their processes through the leveraging of new technologies that allow for innovation and constant improvement. While this approach may seem like a “no-brainer,” many organizations have been unable to sustain these shifts due to a lack of strategic partnership between IT and the business.
Salesforce.com, Amazon Web Services and Google Business Apps are great examples of rapidly growing companies where IT is in sync with the business. The success of these companies is based in part on their ability to recognize that strategic partnerships between IT and the business link innovative business strategies with the bandwidth to implement them.
Pressure to innovate and adapt to market demands will only continue to increase. This type of pressure inherently lends itself to developing an environment that actively encourages partnership with information and technology services. However, both partners must be ready and willing to participate in an eco-system that supports a culture of rapid innovation. Those companies that can adhere to this formula will set themselves up for survival in the face of rapidly changing markets. At the end of the day, it’s about survival.