Doug Smith
Doug Smith

In order to optimize the speed of IT transformation, it is important to first understand the obstacles that keep things slow. By identifying problem areas and taking steps to address them, companies can more successfully implement changes that improve the speed at which IT operates.

  1. Lack of foresight – Perhaps the greatest obstacle of speed in IT is simply a lack of foresight. When leaders within IT and the company do not have the will to look beyond today, they are unable to plan for the future and keep their company at the cutting edge. This can manifest itself in several ways, including under-budgeting initiatives, failing to implement new ideas, and improperly allocating resources. It is extremely important that all stakeholders understand the importance of looking to the future and are willing to invest the necessary resources to properly implement changes.
  2. Poor communication – Rapid IT requires organized communication among a wide range of individuals. Failing to ensure that all key players are on the same page and that there are predefined channels over which to communicate during the project will inevitably lead to problems. It is critical that IT leaders take steps to communicate their plans and ensure that everyone understands what the goals are, what needs to be done, and what everyone’s role is.
  3. No buy-in from business – Some businesses don’t recognize the value of emerging IT developments. They believe that if it works now, it should keep working for the future. Unfortunately, this is simply not true and those companies that aren’t constantly working to improve their technology will fall behind. Lack of buy-in from business leaders can result in under-funded projects and many other problems down the road.
  4. Technical debt – Ignoring technical debt today will only lead to major headaches later. Problems with outdated systems and software can cause security concerns, reliability issues, and many other difficulties. The longer the organization waits to address these problems, the more difficult it will be to do so, and the more they will contribute to inefficiency and loss.
  5. Security – Companies should not prioritize speed above security concerns. However, there are ways to transition rapidly without exposing systems and data to excessive risk. By ensuring that systems are up-to-date and implementing a structured transition plan that puts security first, companies can avoid issues while optimizing the speed to transition.
  6. Physical Infrastructure – Although IT deals in digital information, it ultimately relies on real-world infrastructure to function, and that infrastructure takes a set amount of time to build out. This can be a major roadblock to rapidly rolling out new features and services.

In a future article, we’ll make recommendations for overcoming these obstacles. In the meantime, download the comprehensive white paper, Operate IT at the Speed of Business to learn more about the relationship between speed and transformation.

Doug Smith
Managing Director

Doug has more than 20 years of experience as an IT leader and strategist. Before joining Wavestone US, Doug built and led the Enterprise Architecture function for McKesson, a Fortune 15 healthcare company. In his role as VP of Architecture and Solution Management, he led a team to develop technology strategies and roadmaps for McKesson’s businesses worldwide. At McKesson, he also served as VP of Data Center Transformation and led a multiyear, multimillion-dollar program to modernize and transform IT infrastructure and support teams. Doug has also served as an interim CIO for several of McKesson’s smaller businesses. Before McKesson, Doug worked for Novant Health as Director of Corporate Applications; and as a consultant for IBM Global Services, where he built an intranet to streamline delivery of content to physicians and nurses.

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