Think Talk Summary October 2022
We were pleased to host the IDC Digital Leadership Think Talk on October 27th. About 30 digital leaders from across Europe joined the call to share their challenges, successes and experiences on how governance is organized and how to change it in their organization.
The discussions were moderated by Mark Dowd and Tracey Keeling of the IDC Executive Advisory Group.
Mark Dowd opened the call by questioning whether current governance structures are really fit for purpose and whether the new environment of volatility and rapid change calls for change. Examples were new aspects such as APIs, IoT and data management, which are recognized as business issues, not just IT, and as a result must be addressed in the management structures and processes of each organization.
Participating digital leadership community members debated the question. One of them talked about how difficult it is to account for the risk of losing an API across an organization, which can lead to business losses if not properly managed, leading to data loss in a live environment.
Building a rapidly expanding governance structure
The peer group meeting discussed whether CIOs know whether their delivery processes are sound or whether they need to make changes to adapt to a new pervasive management model. One leader responded that they pushed management to individual responsibility across the organization and away from the standard change board structure. They talked about how business leaders asked for anything they wanted without a business case, and then it became their job to run the process once they were given money after asking the CIA. This model seemed unusual because it was a significant change from standard management advice or periodic review of changes using Agile methodology.
How much does it all cost?
Another CIO’s Executive Advisor, Tracy Keeling, talked about where she was the director of delivery for a client that wasn’t implementing adaptive management. One of the project managers spent on the project to put one server in the data center and this management accounted for 65% of the budget. The client had no mechanism to adapt from producing everything required in a standard transformation to a reduced version to deliver with less complexity and less risk.
A participant in the call discussed whether this level of control is really valid. He focused on the risk aspect and what the client was trying to achieve. For example, a new server may contain protected documents that could be subject to large financial penalties if data is lost, and in this case could justify the significantly increased cost of delivery.
Starting point and monitoring
The conversation turned to how you know what you can achieve with the management model you have, and what you would do differently if you could build this from scratch. The leader talked about how to build your governance around industry regulation and legal requirements like GDPR, to avoid data loss and financial penalties, from lack of governance and not doing due diligence before going live. There was broad agreement from callers who provided an example of how their insurance company does this.
The discussion moved to metrics to monitor Governane’s anti-risk performance and areas for improvement. It was assumed that this could be around KPIs such as “right first time” versus “redevelopment” versus “Agile sprint completion” or unexpected additions to the backlog.
Management for partners
We talked about partner management in the context of sellers. You were asked how you decide whether to do business with a particular company. How did you decide if your processes and systems were good enough to want to contract and partner with them?
The CIO responded that they have put in place a governance framework to drive ecosystem partnerships and maintain this level of governance. They spoke of a new level of partnership governance around the sustainable development agenda. It’s also about how well they’re doing against the expectations of large-scale vendors like hosting vendors to make the same effort as IT. They focused on the level of energy consumption used to run IT systems, which is increasingly important to many.
Right people, right leadership, right time
Mark: “Given the importance of IT in the future of your organization, are the right people involved in your management processes?” asked the question. This created an interesting discussion around the structure. Some attendees delivered traditional waterfall with the standard management advice we all know, but Mark questioned whether IT should just be an orchestrator and advisor to the people making those decisions elsewhere.
There was discussion about the risks of bombarding businesses with sales calls and allowing them to buy whatever they want without the advice of IT professionals. The CIO told people that IT expertise is there to guide them, and the value of asking why and how they’re going, rather than focusing on what they’ve bought. support him.
There are different implications depending on the type of organization. In some, a wrong decision poses no risk and has little impact, but in others, if it goes wrong, it can create a life-or-death situation due to data loss. All organizations face different consequences if decisions are not made as expected, and management must control this risk appropriately.
Another participant said they start with internal audit and then try to see the risks for the rest of the company. They then set limits to give teams some freedom, but surround the areas that could have the most impact if critical management goes wrong.
The example given revolved around information security management and the associated reputational damage and potential fines. They then looked at the barriers that management might create and stimulate Shadow IT. They have tried to be good corporate citizens to encourage this approach to governance and compliance.
There were many other examples of good practice in a surprising variety of management configurations.
The conversation closed with two advisors, Mark Dowd and Tracey Keeling, thanking participants for their contributions, and the next call on tools to open the process is planned for Thursday 24 November.
The IDC CIO Advisory team would like to thank everyone who attended the call for their input. It’s always inspiring to hear from those who work with Business Management challenges. We hope that this session was valuable and brought many things to you.
Our next session will cover in more detail: Are business process discovery tools worth the cost and effort?
Thursday, November 24, 2022 at 5:00 PM CET
Every business venture needs a solid business case. At a time when business grew by intuition rather than by design, there was room for experimentation, and IT had to “catch up” and provide systems to match the processes already in place.
In this session, we’ll take a look at the proliferation of tools, how your organization actually works, and how they can serve as a template for the changes you need to make to get the best business returns.
In this session we will discuss:
- The reality of using business process tools,
- The impact of tools on business agility and successful ROI,
- Challenges in implementing these tools and the changes they make to the way the organization works.
We hope you will join us.
If you have received invitations to our sessions, I hope to see you there. If you would like to join this community, please email us email@example.com.