Twenty-eight years on: what digital transformation has shown

Twenty-eight years on: what digital transformation has shown


Paul Poti

In 1992, by chance, I started working in the IT profession. Five different industries, eleven countries, a wide range of corporate cultures, have flowed into the travel suitcase over time,
organizations of various scales – public, private, public. In addition to IT and consulting, he worked with neighbors on organizational structure – in the service of staff, with manufacturers, in
sales and finance.

Twenty-eight years is enough to get older at least three times. It is not enough to make forecasts twenty-eight years in advance. The normal term is to compare what was in the organization,
what went on is what will become important in the coming years and that he does not want to go.


Digit: deep penetration

Nine years ago, we talked to Pekka Villakainen, creator of IT companies and products, consultant, visionary, on the pages of the magazine. In the interview, I asked the traditional question about the role and place of information technology in
to the work of organizations and received the following answer: “Let’s imagine a not so distant future, say, 2020. How do you think there will be more IT or less in organizations (in any field of activity)? ».

The 90s systems covered only the core business processes within organizations and were built around transactions. In addition, at the heart of their work were completely different cycles: the financial statements were summarized in
At the end of the first decade of next month, the sales report also became available at the end of the period. The systems of different organizations have just begun to “talk” to each other.

The two thousand and twentieth year came much faster than desired. IT solutions today have penetrated processes both in breadth and in depth. Production and service can be tracked separately
operations and their effectiveness, the sales system can track how a customer makes a purchase decision (we all know that our smartphone is not looking and listening to us, right?), financial
the condition is desirable to predict, at least – to see online. With the dynamics of sales – the same.

Note not a word about artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things. More importantly, the figure has penetrated the processes of interaction of participants and changed the rules of the game. The number of ordering platforms counted
taxis abolished all dispatches at once, food order aggregators changed the landscape of catering establishments, completely different players came to the glass and granite bank buildings, and
the impact of social networks and e-commerce companies falls within the eyes of top-level regulators.

IT can change an organization, but it can make it part of the past. Depending on the industry, this happens at different speeds, but IT has definitely grown more in all processes. Only this is quite
other technologies than twenty-eight, and even fifteen years ago. No wonder the first manager of a very large bank said the phrase: “We spent a lot of time on automation.
Now you have to throw it away and do everything from scratch and differently. ”

Borders and Arrangements

From the point of view of the landscape of systems, the last decade of the twentieth century was difficult: at each site of a geographically distributed enterprise, a set of systems that were associated with
centrally and through each other through reporting or information sharing (for example, TMC internal relocation orders). The two thousand have brought the Internet and centralization – first to systems, and then to
business processes and units.

Technology has made possible the emergence of internal and external service centers. They solved the tasks of receiving orders, accounting, HR administration, IT services, which were previously the prerogative
field units. It was then that the CIOs came under the first serious fire from the management of the units, which lost control of business processes, management.
requirements for IT systems. The work and results of these executives have become many times more transparent than before.

The pendulum of centralization has often moved so that new processes are either lost in quality or sabotaged. When outsourcing processes (outsourcing), not everything worked out as well
conceived, so the fashion for outsourcing is often changed to “everything back”, “doing as it was.”

That level of complexity is no match for the landscape of our time: business processes can be performed on the internal systems of the enterprise, on external platforms, in state
systems (there may later migrate a number of accounting and reporting processes), even on management and maintenance platforms for machinery and equipment, from machine tools to agricultural machinery.

It is not easy to deal with data: they can relate to the traditional perimeter of the enterprise, buy from commercial operators, borrow from state systems. The data manager can
face the challenge of purchasing or even renting data sets to train their AI systems. Therefore, there must be completely different competencies within its organization – both legal and
technological.

Visionary companies are quite serious about the need for a metric of the workforce of humans and robots (both virtual and physical). It will affect the business processes at
licensing, security, organizational culture.

For an IT executive, this means that other stakeholders, both internally and externally, will appear in his field of view. New questions will arise that will need to be achieved
arrangements. And not at any time in the future, but with the speed of IT implementation inherent in 2020.

Competition and evolution

The future is unevenly distributed. Perhaps this is for the better if post-apocalypse is considered a possible future option. In this case, there are a significant number of organizations for which
the trends I have marked go beyond their field of view. Not visible – not relevant. A shared service center may well be an innovation and business process reengineering
a competence that they have just begun to master.

The life of an IT executive can proceed quite calmly, especially in the case of favorable market position of the enterprise. However, there are a number of factors that did not appear yesterday and may change
the situation is very fast:

  1. Platforms and solutions are rapidly crossing borders of markets and countries. Previously, technology companies took months and years to build a presence in a new country, but now
    getting a trial license, such as RPA, is a matter of one hour of correspondence with their fast, digital, centralized sales team. If the new solution does not try the CIO – to him
    business executives will look at it, and then they will deliver the IT worker before the fact of implementation.

  2. Business executives already understand: you control your processes, structure, data only if you control your IT system. So now to see among those responsible for the implementation of systems
    CIOs are more of a hello than the past. I do not mean to say that the CIO is dead, after all, everyone decides for themselves, but the role, balance, powers have definitely shifted.

  3. The IT field, as long as I know no less than highes, unfulfilled hopes and disappointments, than the noble industries of achieving eternal beauty and immortality. It’s been years of tuning in to what will happen
    a long-term trend that is really new that will change organizations and raise them to another level of effectiveness. Most likely, we will see not one or two “digital
    Transformation “through the introduction of a monolithic integrated IT system, while leading world companies at the same time will analyze completely different scenarios – for example, to compare options
    between the outsourcing of processes to external platforms and our own specialized IT development.

IT systems are crossing the boundaries of organizations and countries, changing the principles of activity of companies, industry, states. The IT Leader Opportunity Window is monitoring what the world is doing
organizations – leaders of digital change, forecasting, strategy development and implementation, mediation in complex decision making and internal and external agreements
stakeholders. You will need a range of skills from builder to psychotherapist.

Architectures and solutions will become more complex, there will be other risks, scenarios, ethical dilemmas. There are other requirements for the speed achieved through the ability to experiment,
make and admit mistakes, move on. Transformation is not easy, it’s when you don’t always know what the end result will look like.

We look 360 degrees on the sides, up, down and especially in the future. Fasten your seat belts. And the future 28 years later is again thoroughly closed by the fog of IT.

digital transformation

IT-Manager Magazine [№ 01/2020],


Paul Potie

Paul Poti

IT expert. Permanent author of the magazine

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