Would you consider IT a cost center? Many enterprises nowadays still do. Every enterprise would surely agree that IT plays a big part in their business, whether it be a bank, an airline, an insurance company or whichever. They however do not all see IT as being at the core. In this blog, I’d like to emphasize how in every industry, or every domain, the core of operations are all IT centric. How good you can leverage the market, purely depends on how well your IT systems work.
For Google, Facebook, or for Twitter it is evident. Their engineering excellence and the way they innovate with their software products, that is their core business. For a bank for example, this is different. Many would say that the core of their business is banking and they use IT as part of their service, perceiving it as a cost center. However, this could also be turned around. What if you perceive the bank as an IT company, just happening to have a banking license. Spreading this message in an organization helps IT and DevOps teams understand the importance of their jobs better and is the only way if you want to implement radical changes in DevOps and Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery. The point I want to make is that it doesn’t matter if you’re in banking, automobile, or transportation, the core business is how well your IT systems function. How flexible and how fast can they adapt and deliver value?
To make it more concrete, let’s use the example of banking again. The new European regulations which changed a couple of years ago, ensure that banks are expected to provide their customer information to other parties, as long as the customer agrees. This opened up immense opportunities for the small, or niche, players and at the same time, put the banking domain in a lesser protected position. When a new player comes along with an offer that customers like, they can easily disrupt the banking domain because customers can enforce banks to share information, making banking services an able to be carried out by third parties. So, who needs a physical bank? Right?
Different payment models have made it to the market, with different ‘wallets’ and more changes yet to come. If you are not able to adapt to these changes in environment and tools, the immense competition will take the market share.
So, how do you currently measure efficency of your IT organization. More importantly, how do you measure the impact of IT on your business success. I’m curious to hear your thoughts on this.