CIO Straight Talk - Issue 11 - 30
not realistic - but knowing what's coming down
the pike allows you to set realistic expectations
and realistic budgets.
conceive, develop and introduce products faster
than these recalcitrant organizations are able to
make decisions about them.
BUT MOST COMPANIES RUN AN AGILE
SHOP THESE DAYS. DOESN'T THAT
RESOLVE SOME OF THESE PROBLEMS?
Very few companies can manage this well yet.
Even my most successful digital transformation
clients haven't really gotten to the level of
maturity, where they're able to have the
conversations about this stuff as quickly as they
can build it.
Only some. Agile speeds things up, but it
doesn't help in coordinating activity. For
example, the CIO of one of our clients, a
chemicals company, did everything right from
our perspective, and the agility he brought into
the enterprise was very much appreciated by
the individual business units, the COO, and
the CEO. Benefits started accruing after nine
months, and the transformation was completed
in two and a half years. It was widely regarded as
a huge success.
But now, 18 months after they declared victory,
we realize they didn't really match enterprise
governance to enterprise agility. So, everyone
has agility but the company's decision-making
has devolved and become very decentralized.
WHAT WENT WRONG?
People were individually faster than they used
to be, but they made duplicate investments
because architectural governance wasn't strong
enough. Different business units were buying
their own IoT technology, instead of thinking,
well, could we have one IoT platform for the
The answer is going to be different every single
time you ask this question, in every single
company. Sometimes you will be faster by having
a standard platform, and sometimes you won't,
and in the case that you're not, then you have
to look at costs and say, okay, is that speed to
market worth this cost?
WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?
Organizations have always been designed to
be slow-moving entities. That's because they
are risk averse. That's sort of the hallmark of
organizational design; it's what's changed
least in business in the last hundred years. But
now we're at the point where we can actually
WHAT MAKES GOVERNANCE
OF AN AGILE FIRM SO HARD?
A large part is because the particular skills needed
to manage it are so rare. A lot of people can call
themselves an enterprise architect, but a real
enterprise architect understands everything from
the nitty gritty of the code and the way the boxes
and cables are wired together all the way up to the
most sophisticated business processes. Finding a
person who can do that is really, really hard. Right
now, there are only a few of them in the world.
ASSUMING YOU CAN FIND ONE,
WHAT WOULD HAVING ONE OF
THESE PARAGONS DO FOR YOUR
Enterprises that have them generally succeed.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CIO Straight Talk - Issue 11