The Biggest Barrier To IT Transformation Is People
A firm’s people play essential roles in all stages of IT transformation. For companies at the beginner level of maturity, employees must come together to connect the organization. Once the organization is united, it must adopt customer-centric principles to become adaptable and reach intermediate maturity. To reach an advanced maturity level, the organization must again rely on its people to transition from being adaptable to adaptive. At each of these maturity levels, a company’s talent, culture, and structure look slightly different. The key differences in these three areas between beginner, intermediate, and advanced firms undergoing IT transformations are as follows:
- Talent. A beginner firm will have established a training program whereby management has identified specific work-based training needs, created resource pools based on specific skills from in-house and gig consultants, and formed cross-functional teams that deliver outcomes. An intermediate firm will have strong business and IT collaboration with a clear delineation of responsibilities, utilize the gig economy to find freelancers, and provide outcome-centric training to employees. An advanced firm will have fungible business and IT roles, internal and external asset pools, and employee demand driving career and workforce development.
- Culture. A beginner firm will have established principles of customer-centric behaviors, adopted a siloed (but effective) governance framework, and recognized customer-centric examples. Intermediate firms will have institutionalized specific customer-centric employee behaviors, removed barriers to enterprise- and customer-centric governance, and added enablers that make behavior change easier. An advanced firm will have adopted experience-centric behaviors that go beyond just customers, established governance frameworks that promote autonomy and employee empowerment, and scaled emergent behaviors to extend across the firm.
- Structure. A firm with beginner-level structural maturity will have dysfunctional governance, a traditional plan-build-run capability, and low agility. A firm with intermediate-level maturity will have outcome-based governance with low collaboration and empowerment, reduced technology management capabilities by sourcing specific capabilities from third parties, and agile delivery with fixed pools of human capital assets. A firm with advanced-level maturity will have trusted governance founded by collaboration and empowerment, unbundled technology management capabilities, and dynamic allocation of assets that meet the evolving needs of the business.
For more information, use the Forrester IT transformation assessment framework to determine your level of maturity, then check out the appropriate IT transformation playbook reports on people practices for beginner, intermediate, and advanced organizations to start your transformation journey, or schedule an inquiry.