Monday, June 09, 2014

My list vs Gartner

I was fairly flabbergasted by a recent tweet by Jay Fry providing the top ten challenges for I&O leaders at a Gartner Symposium. There's nothing wrong with Jay's tweet but instead the list. I don't recognise this at all.

In my world, the list is completely different. This is my list broken into two parts :-

Part 1 : Corrective Action

#1 - Stop self harm. 
Introduce measures to bring IT expenditure under control including transparency & use of data, identifying common transactions, cost per transaction, challenge boards for high cost projects, improving internal skills and capability etc. Start building up your internal technical capability to challenge projects.

#2 - Focus on user needs.
Ensure that all projects have a clear focus on user needs, that these are defined and where possible measurable and measured. Start building up your internal technical capability to meet those needs.

#3 - Improve situational awareness
Once you get over the initial hurdle of focusing on user needs then start mapping out complex projects from user needs. Identify how you should treat components encouraging effective project management, risk mitigation, communication and learning from others.

#4 - Learn from next generation
Start getting familiar with next generation practices from use of commodity components to ecosystems to cell based approaches to use of open as a competitive weapon.

#5 - Create meaningful strategy
With improved situational awareness and lessons from next generation, develop meaningful strategy with the business focused on the where and why rather than the usual 'copying everyone else' and 'backward causality' which is rife (hint, you didn't think that everyone's strategy being digital first, agile, cloud, social media, mobile, BYOD, big data, insight from data, ecosystems, efficiency, innovation yada yada was an accident?).

Part 2 : Positive Action

#6 - Execution
Once you created meaningful strategy based upon all the above, now you're ready to do stuff. What this actually means will depend upon your business, your competitors, the environment you operate in, basic economic forces (competition, inertia, buyer / supplier strengths), weak signals etc. So, there's no simple list and hence I stop here.

My list is vastly different from Gartner's which seems to be a tyranny of action (i.e. build a private cloud) with no reference to either user needs, stopping self harm, improving awareness etc. At best it talks about linking business and IT strategies (btw having these as separate is a huge mistake) at #7.

Apparently the list is from a Gartner survey. Obviously we walk in different worlds.