Wednesday, October 22, 2014

VUCA - a four-letter word. How does your company plan to deal with it?

Here's what Deloitte thinks smart companies would need to do to deal with VUCA : a Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous world: 

Today’s organizations must create regular, systematic mechanisms to accelerate the pace at which they discover sources of surprise. 

2 Scan Ruthlessly
Any potential source of change won’t be coming with a big sign that says “disruptor.” It won’t be coming from the usual places. And there won’t be just one.

3 Confront Your Biases.
“That will never happen” is the most dangerous phrase in today’s C-Suite. 

When an emergent risk turns into a strategic threat, it’s too late to study the problem. You have to respond like a Navy SEAL, with confidence, clarity, and precision.
Seems to be in close alignment with what I had written in the Harvard Business Review and blogged about a few months ago:
.......that most Disruptions can be prevented from having a Big Bang effect by smart companies by:

- early identification of emerging trends

- what-if /SWOT analysis to identify impact on existing business

- identify opportunities to leverage the emerging trend

- get "co-opted" into the evolution process

- ride the evolutionary wave and reap the benefits.

Companies which do not do so will feel the impact of what was actually an evolutionary process as if it was a "Big Bang". Guys who see an oncoming bus and prepare for it can run alongside it a bit and then board it ; guys who are oblivious will be "hit by a bus".

Friday, October 10, 2014

Battle lines are drawn: Next Generation IT Operating Model - Plan/Build/Run Or Broker/Integrate/Orchestrate

The first salvo in the battle was fired when Mark Settle, CIO, BMC Software in a2012 Forbes Guest Essay said "Employing a Plan/Build/Run model to deploy critical business systems in the 21st century is a little like employing horse cavalry units to fight battles in World War II."
A bit harsh given that major consulting organizations are still in two minds about which horse to back. McKinsey in Winter 2013 was espousing "Using a plan-build-run organizational model to drive IT infrastructure objectives" while KPMG in early 2014 touted Broker/Orchestrate/Integrate as a Next Generation IT Operating Model, Deloitte stayed away from either of these in their 2014 report "The Next Generation of IT Operating Models"
A tad bit confusing ? Or is it really. While both Plan/Build/Run and Broker/Integrate/Orchestrate are a marked shift from the traditional stovepipe organization, they can be viewed to be on the same evolutionary continuum. The two models very closely align with each other with remarkable correlation between Plan and Broker; Build and Integrate; and Run and Orchestrate.
So IT organizations which are currently transitioning into the Plan/Build/Run model can view the Broker/Integrate/Orchestrate as a logical progression. For the others which are still stuck in the stovepipe Mark Settle says "these stovepipe organizations are uniquely positioned to leapfrog the Plan/Build/Run orthodoxy and move directly to the new IT operating model: Broker/Integrate/Orchestrate."
So the onus is on CIOs to recommend a viable path based on the organizational culture and the risk profile of their organizations - A revolutionary approach which transforms them from stovepipe directly to Broker/Integrate/Orchestrate or an evolutionary path which takes them to the same end-point but via an interim transition to Plan/Build/Run.
As a CIO/IT Strategist which path did you choose and Why?

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