I liken what’s happened to technology over the last 20 years to what happens to a small business as they grow to become a large enterprise.
In the beginning, you have that small team with each contributor taking on multiple roles. It allows you to keep costs low but at the same time that ability to have people work and think across multiple domains in the business. This turn leads to more informed and better decision making because the individual has a broader context of what that decision will mean for the broader business.
Then as success takes hold and you expand you start to put people into defined roles. The workload to cover multiple domains becomes too much for a single person and so these individuals start to become experts in a singular discipline (i.e. finance, product, marketing, supply chain). Instead of delivering for the business and its customers they start delivering against their KPI’s and becoming oblivious to their impact on the broader business.
As technology has evolved over the last 20 years its shifted from a small team covering multiple technologies to a large department that have individuals doubling down on their technical strengths and going deep into their vertical and becoming true experts. Now don’t get me wrong, this is incredibly important as its ensuring that everything they do is effective, but this mentality has some pretty severe side effects.
We all now know that technology has quickly become the variable for success in our industries. It’s what is disrupting markets and enabling us to deliver products and services more efficiently and effectively. According to one IDC prediction, “By 2020, 50% of the Global 2,000 will see the majority of their businesses depend on their ability to create digitally enhanced products, services and experiences”. Now while that study referred to the larger end of town, it has complete relevance for all organisations as expectations will shift and affect everyone the SME and NFP market does.
So when you have an IT team that has all the deep domain skills needed to take advantage of this technology but who have little visibility of the business as they deliver against KPI’s what happens?
Check out the next post to find out