IT as a sector has undergone its own mammoth transformation over the past 30 years. From what was a supporting department within a business, IT now is the business. The driving force for innovation, increasing market share and retaining customers, IT has a powerful and leading role in businesses of all sizes and in all industries.
But with power comes great responsibility. The hard truth being that the legacy IT systems many established companies run on aren’t fit for the changing and challenging environment rapidly unfolding around them. The typical scattered landscape of legacy systems, combined with short-term patch-up solutions, is increasing the margin of error, creating inefficiencies and leaving businesses at risk of losing their place in the market all together.
The answer for any business bearing the brunt of these realities is to undertake an IT transformation. No mean feat but read on to discover why investing in an IT transformation is key to unlocking your business’ potential and discover how the IT4IT™ - Reference Architecture  will help you get there.
1. Enable digital enterprise
Innovation is no longer a nice to have. Conceiving new solutions and maximising new technology are an expectation - and not just from business leaders. Start-ups are challenging established companies in all sectors. Their advantage being that they can easily leverage new technology - versus an established company with legacy systems where implementing new tech takes time (and can open a can of worms). An IT transformation will enable your organisation to realise new solutions with ease, protecting, and potentially increasing, your market share in the process.
Having the ability and agility to innovate - across new and existing solutions - will boost customer experience too. With customers becoming increasingly demanding and switching often and freely this shouldn’t be overlooked.
Digital enterprise isn’t always about creating revolutionary new solutions. It can also apply to creating efficiencies within existing systems. An effective IT transformation will enable CIOs and IT departments to have a clear view of all the processes in their ecosystem and identify where automation can be implemented.
2. Manage increased demand
The pressure is on for IT departments to do more, faster and for less. Expectations that might feel impossible to reach, particularly when decades of intertwined legacy systems often mean overlaps and inefficiencies abound.
An IT transformation, carried out with a comprehensive IT management framework, can make that idealistic trio achievable. By harnessing a clear overview of the entire IT management environment, IT leaders can spot inefficiencies and fix them - from streamlining systems to terminating duplicate suppliers. All the while becoming faster, more agile and reducing costs.
3. Increase risk control and transparency
A further demand on IT departments is controlling security and risk. Security breaches, ransomware acts or exposed databases aren’t uncommon and, therefore, they are high on business leaders’ concerns. CIOs often find themselves being asked: can you show me if our services are secure? If our services do become compromised, can we fix defects in days or is there a backlog? Questions any CIO would like to confidently answer yes to - but in the complexities of a legacy landscape, that’s not always possible.
Similarly, there is pressure on CIOs to improve transparency and traceability across the whole IT landscape. Business leaders want to see what’s being developed and how long it will take. Easier said than done when IT departments work in an agile way and send out briefs to multiple teams. An integrated view gives you this information at your fingertips and bridges the agile approach at team level with the typical multi-year approach at C-level.
Successfully running an IT transformation will also help IT departments prove the value they add and openly share the improvements and innovations they’ve generated. Resulting in higher recognition and, potentially, increased funding.
4. Maximise new technologies
Cloud, Big Data, AI, ML, blockchain, mobility, APIs... just to name a few. By the time this blog post has been published there will probably be new additions to the list. New technologies are popping up all the time - and implementing them must be immediate to maintain a market edge and drive efficiencies.
But IT departments also need to make sense of new technologies before jumping straight in. That goes for understanding the technicalities but also evaluating the potential added value and the process to implement: does it drive costs down? Does it improve things? How does it impact other components?
It might feel smartest to move from your own data centre to the cloud, but it can prove more expensive. Going through a transformation with an IT management framework will help you answer these questions and ensure you only implement new technologies that actually add value to your business.
Invest in the right services and gear your IT portfolio to your business strategy with the insights in our white paper: The Digital Transformation with IT4IT. Download you copy here.
5. Implement new IT management paradigms
For an IT department within a long-established business, where legacy IT systems abound, new IT management paradigms may feel like the prerogative of the start-up world only. However, adopting these new ways of working is crucial for bringing your team, tools, processes, data, controls and integrations into the future.
The organisational setup of an IT department was once linear but that has changed dramatically, necessitating agile development, Continuous Delivery and DevOps. Adopting these ways of working removes process barriers, empowers individuals, drives collaboration and gives customers more opportunities to experience and provide feedback.
The output of IT services has changed too, namely with the application of everything ‘as code’ - configuration, infrastructure, pipelines and even training and documentation. Meanwhile with the introduction of new technologies such as Cloud, SaaS and PaaS, the need for a new role has emerged: Service Broker.
Introducing these new ways of working, outputs and roles into an established IT infrastructure isn’t easy but an IT transformation, guided by IT4IT management methodology, will help you do so in an effective and sustainable way.
Undertake a successful IT transformation with IT4IT
By now, no doubt, you’re convinced of the myriad reasons for undertaking an IT transformation. But jumping into such a commitment shouldn’t be done blindly, or without a comprehensive IT management framework to take you through each step of the process.
IT4IT is a Reference Architecture that provides practical lines of action to make a controlled changeover to becoming a fast, agile IT organisation. Using a global standard reference architecture, IT4IT works seamlessly together with ITIL, COBIT and ISO/IEC 20000 and focuses not on processes, but rather on data and information that is needed to manage your services through their lifecycle.
Our consultants take a hands-on approach across all layers of an IT transformation and in actioning IT4IT: tailored design, implementation and on-going support. So, you can rest assured you have both the framework and the expert guidance for undertaking a successful transformation.
To dive deeper into the process of an IT transformation, and how the IT4IT model can help you execute it, download our white paper: The Digital Transformation with IT4IT
 IT4IT is a registered trademark of The Open Group