Growth, performance and disruptive innovation are now more important than cost reduction and financial management. 271 company directors polled by Deloitte say the risk of losing business to competitors and the speed of digital transformation means that disruptive innovation has diminished the importance of cutting costs.
It may only be a limited snapshot of attitudes, but the year-on-year comparison this research offers is fascinating because it shows how thinking has changed markedly in just 12 months. It further fuels the positive idea that businesses are changing the way they think about technology and how it relates to their business objectives.
Technology does offer bountiful opportunities to rationalise costs, with automation of mundane and transactional processes a hugely beneficial practice. But to truly unlock the potential of digital transformation, businesses need to take a more progressive view and recognise that IT should be part of something far more profound.
Businesses need IT to become a fundamental part of how they operate, connect with customers, innovate products and execute their strategy. The barrier is that IT is treated as a siloed department with its own objectives. In summary, businesses need IT, but they don’t need an IT department.
How do we bridge this gap? We can talk about strategies and alignment all day long, but definitive actions will ultimately be decided by conversations. Once IT people and business people realise they are peers trying to meet the same aims, rather than representatives of two different departments, the “walls” will quickly dissolve.
Business Relationship Management is a topic that you hear about more and more over the next 12-18 months. There are many facets and ways to approach BRM, but the pure essence of the discipline is listening and talking. However, changing our attitude to technology is crucial to breaking the ice and letting the productive conversations begin.