How Governance Innovation Can Align Business & IT

September 26, 2017

Contributing Authors: John Ayers, Marketing Services Director and Janet Alexander, Copy Writer. 

Every week, we meet companies who are suffering from a shared set of symptoms: project delays, rogue IT, and missed quotas. It can be tricky to diagnose a single cause for these ailments. Salesforce provides companies with the most flexibility to make changes to their business systems, but not all Salesforce customers experience the value of the world’s #1 CRM. Why? We often find that the answer can be summed up in one word, governance. 

Governance refers to the policies, processes, and structure of an organization that enables IT and business units to collaborate. The optimal governance makes it easy for IT and business stakeholders to share oversight of development, testing, and deployment of system upgrades, changes, and new releases. Without a unified foundation to develop and implement digital innovation initiatives, IT and business units work in silos that create damaging side-effects, which may include project collapse, inconsistent project delivery, missed deadlines, and recurring bouts of internal friction and frustration.  

Companies experiencing these side-effects fit into one of two scenarios:

  • You’re on Salesforce, but the foundation wasn’t designed to adapt to change. When your Salesforce instance was initially built it may have been okay, but it’s no longer relevant or useful to the new scale of your business and initiatives.
  • You’re moving onto Salesforce, integrating systems, and need help moving away from the traditional way of managing platforms since your software no longer fits a platform where it’s possible to make changes every day.

Cloud-based application development and deployment processes are very different from those used to deliver traditional on-premises applications. While Salesforce is designed to drive customer success, out-of-the-box it doesn’t come with a unified foundation to execute ongoing change. There is a misconception that business units can make changes on their own without IT.  In fact, our own research in this year’s The State of Salesforce report found that if IT owns Salesforce, then an organization’s use of the platform is 3x more likely to be optimized for ongoing innovation. There’s a difference between changes you can make and the initiatives you should take–this is where alignment between IT and business units proves to be most important. Business needs to focus on why they want changes made and what outcomes it’ll achieve, while IT efforts are better utilized by focusing on how to do it, who it’ll impact, and who to train.

At Bluewolf, we view governance as a continuous balancing act between maintenance and innovation, keeping IT systems running while budgeting business resources for new initiatives. Through our Salesforce governance for innovation practice, Bluewolf Pulse, we design a flexible execution framework that:

1. Drives Prioritization – Ensures resources are invested to maximize a return on innovation
2. Creates Alignment – Ensures business stakeholders and IT are collaborating and aligned  
3. Promotes Successful Execution – Produces innovation with quality and scale

Traditional governance, which focuses on provisioning and security under strict control, is too cumbersome to support the rapid pace of change driven by cloud-based technologies. In contrast, Governance for Innovation focuses on a framework for decision-making, fast execution, and quality delivery. It encourages a partnership between IT and business leaders that not only enables innovation but also, allows companies to rapidly adapt to the changing needs of customers. In the same way cloud technologies have revolutionized the effectiveness of IT infrastructures, innovation through governance is revolutionizing the effectiveness of IT’s alignment with the business.

Get started on your governance journey. Connect with a Bluewolf expert now. 

 

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