Solving Management’s Disruption Dilemma— the Blended IT Strategy

Part 2 - The fast track - transforming systems that face the customer

In this article, sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise; The Economist Intelligence Unit & JGID proposes an alternative to an overnight, all-or-nothing approach: blended IT. This is a dual-speed approach that supports a period of coexistence between the old and the new systems—giving Management the time and resources to manage the dilemma of disruptive change.

Applications that create the customer experience should be high on any Management’s priority list for digital transformation.

Over two-thirds of business customers’ leisure time online is spent on a few major sites - Facebook, Yahoo, Google, that have built their businesses on a great customer experience. Furthermore, digital natives dominate the consumer online commerce experience.

What do these companies do really well?

  • They present the customer with a compelling user experience - attractive, informative, and designed to drive the customer to a transaction or service.
  • The customer finds the same quality presentation of information on any device they choose to use.
  • The required data is drawn from multiple parts of the organisation, pricing from finance, products from a catalogue, availability from inventory—and presented as a seamless transaction.
  • The experience is highly personalised, from the order history to the recommended offers.
  • Customers recognise content that is specific to their industry or environment – software written for and within an industry makes a compelling proposition over ambiguous and generic Apps.

For Management, these expectations can be captured as a series of technology requirements:

  • Digital agilitya capacity to respond rapidly to consumer preferences and market movements
  • Device deliverynetworks that can serve all major device formats and operating systems
  • Cross-department integrationan ability to draw data from multiple points within an organisation
  • Data managementrepositories and analytics capable of handling lots of data points
  • Cultural transformationrapid retraining and transition of IT personnel
  • Scalabilityan ability to cost-effectively ramp up operations.

These requirements are compelling drivers for transformation to digital platforms that can support multiple devices, integrate disparate data, and provide the computing power for advanced analytics, such as JGID.

The proposition of the blended IT model is therefore to fast-track customer orientated functions such as sales, quoting, compliance, scheduling and invoicing. This multi faceted approach will quickly raise standards where they are most needed; in the eyes of the customer.

Secondly, this allows the organisation to take a more measured, risk-managed approach in the implementation of critical new internal systems and software.