How do you move towards the Lite?
So what is to be done in addition to pushing adopting process-based working, developing centres of excellence and expanding the scope of your outsourcing arrangements? The most important steps involve analyzing your business drivers to determine IS Lite priorities; strengthening your IT leadership team's skills; centralizing the architecture development role to coordinate internal and external architectural direction; using the business enhancement role to encourage process-based working throughout the enterprise; using the technology advancement role to develop knowledge-sharing centres of excellence; centralizing and expanding the scope of the vendor management role; consolidating the roles in a Lite organization; and finally demonstrating the business value of IT by running IS like a business.
A lack of behavioural competencies and resistance to change in IS are impeding the migration of some enterprises to IS Lite, a leaner, more focused variant of the traditional IS organization.
Four IS Lite trends - process-based working, outsourcing, centres of excellence and application development embedded in the business - have been partially adopted in the past five years. The two main challenges have been lack of competencies to carry out the five key IS Lite roles and IS's resistance to change.
To move toward the IS Lite, use business drivers to prioritize which trends to adopt. Strengthen IS roles by developing or acquiring the necessary competencies, and focus IS on delivering value. One person can't do it all, so you need to build the IS leadership team.
In particular, the leadership team must have, develop or acquire capabilities for: process-based working, managing change to overcome resistance, business and behavioural expertise, and demonstrating the business value of IT. This means taking a close look at which roles will remain in your organization and which are likely to become obsolete so you can well-position your IS organization for the future.
Andrew Rowsell-Jones is vice president and research director for Gartner's CIO Executive Programs
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