Management students learn early how important it is for the business to follow a strategy and to proceed tactically. Julius Caesar, Tsun Tsu, Carl von Clausewitz and other renowned strategists set an example how a strategy paired with tactics leads to success. This also goes for both the business environment and the IT. Formerly, the focus of the IT-strategy was placed on costs and stability which made the role of the Chief Financial Officer (CIO) comparatively straightforward. Today, however, they face completely new challenges. The CIO and his team are obliged to promote the growth of a company, to support innovations and to see to speed and agility. On first sight, there seems to be a gap between the long-term plan and the compulsion to act flexibly. The question arises how the traditional IT-world can be reconciled with the world of digital convergence. How can the bi-modal IT be implemented?
The End of Static Thinking
Basically, it has become very difficult to emulate an innovative, viable method with the static thought patterns of the past. Planning is based on predictability. Predictability, however, cannot be achieved in today’s fast-moving world. Even more so, nowadays strategists and operational employees cannot act separately – the results would be fatal. The degree of process formalisation is no longer constituted as before. The only way possible would be a maximised strategic flexibilization. This can only become reality if the technical, organisational and personal influencing factors are looked at in their entirety. Within critical areas of an organisation, the cost efficiency and failover continues to be of major importance supplemented by a short product development cycle and the ability to launch the newly developed products fast.
Flexible Thinking, Agile Action
This maximum flexibility strategy can only be performed with partners who offer all those functional areas that need to be agile, flexible and scalable as separate, individually configurable modules. This means that a company should be able to separate from all divisions which do not directly belong to its core business but at the same time retain full access to all critical elements – nowadays, these are normally the data as central asset. Things that were almost impossible in the past, are no prominent issue anymore. Amongst others, Full-IT service providers such as DARZ have proved with the establishment of the first hybrid cloud that the elements belonging to classical IT (the company-owned data centre or the colocation) can be unproblematically connected to agile elements like private or public clouds. These innovative approaches do only work if such overcome paradigms are thrown overboard and people seek for advice.