Enterprise IT Transformation - What it is and where it's heading
In this article we're speaking with Nick Evans, our Enterprise IT Transformation Director. We asked Nick six questions across our short interview to find out how Enterprise IT is changing the face of organisations we work with and what he sees as the changes and challenges IT leaders will face, as a critical part of their organisation's success.
1. It would be good to start with who you are and what you’re working with on a day-to-day basis. What can you tell us about your background and how you’ve arrived at the position of IT Transformation Director?
My name is Nick Evans. I have an engineering background and transitioned to IT in the early 2000s, initially in project management roles, then in service delivery management. For the last few years I have been Solnet's Operations Manager, responsible for overall management of our delivery teams, capabilities and client outcomes. I have recently started in the newly created role of IT Transformation Director. The reason for this is that organisations today need to transition to becoming digital and Solnet's opportunity is to utilise our knowledge of software design, development and support to help and advise our clients to make this transformation. My job is to lead the development of this part of our business.
2. What is Enterprise IT Transformation? What’s the difference between this and say, hiring some people to consult with me on my IT challenges?
Enterprise IT Transformation is about changing how IT is 'done' in organisations in order to meet the challenges of moving to more digital-centric business models. To survive and prosper most organisations will need to treat digital technology as a core part of their business rather than a platform or enabler for their 'real' business. I think that the difference between IT Transformation and just 'IT consulting' is the need to understand the big picture - instead of just becoming more efficient and cost-effective IT also needs to become more responsive to the needs of the business by enabling rapid customer-centric innovation. This requires more than just a technology solution, it requires rethinking the culture, processes and technologies across the organisation.
3. What are the biggest challenges or disruptors you’re seeing at the moment in your conversations with senior IT stakeholders?
There is a huge difference in the speed that high performing organisations can deliver digital innovation and valuable change without compromising quality and cost - this gives them a large competitive advantage and enables disruption. The problem is that delivering improvement at this scale requires a combination of new capabilities (CX, automation) new technologies (cloud, APIs) and new ways of working (Agile, Lean, DevOps). The key challenge for IT stakeholders is to move their organisations so they can evolve faster by incorporating these new elements, while continuing to provide 'business as usual' services. The good news is that this is possible but it does require awareness of the challenge at all levels of the organisation, and a strong commitment to facing it.
4. What do you see as the state of IT globally in 2017 and what do you think we’ll be talking about in 2020?
It is said that 'things are always changing in IT’ but right now the pace of change is exceptional, certainly a lot of the CIOs I talk to believe the pace of change has never been greater. I think one reason for this is that 'the Cloud' has gone mainstream and has enabled much faster business and IT innovation. By 2020 this will be continuing to accelerate as AI and IoT become ubiquitous as they go through the same maturing that cloud technologies have recently. That said I do think the conversation then and now should focus more on the best ways to enable people and organisations to take advantage of these amazing technologies. As we’ve seen very recently with AWS, cloud is a great tool but I think a lot of businesses were more exposed or reliant on other people’s technology than they necessarily realised.
5. Government IT and digital services are gaining increasing attention and profile, do you see any unique challenges for government as opposed to corporate or private sector?
Of course there are differences between Government and the private sector challenges but the similarities are interesting. In both areas there is the drive to enable customer (or citizen) centric innovation through digital channels, along with the requirement to be cost effective. Also businesses have something to learn from the Government's focus on, and experience with, privacy and security issues. So while Government does have additional constraints there is still a strong need for digital-centric IT transformation, and for an exchange of ideas with the private sector.
6. And one final question to conclude, what do you think is the biggest IT myth out there?
You might hear people say this one a lot but I still keep seeing it. I would say it’s the story that some new technology out there is a silver bullet that will magically solve your problems. Technology is just an enabler – people solve problems and aligning your people with your business strategies is the key to make things happen.
We're always on hand to help businesses and government agencies develop a robust Enterprise IT Strategy, enabling them to develop and deliver digital solutions faster and be more relevant to their customers. Contact one of our team to start discussions on your Enterprise IT future.
Nick began his career in the New Zealand engineering industry. Prior to Solnet, he worked in France for 10 years on the Eurostar train construction project in a variety of project and financial management roles. He joined Solnet in 2000 as a Project Manager, later moving to lead the Wellington Solutions Delivery team, and then to be National Operations Manager with responsibility for creating and leading high performance technical teams, organisational improvement and managing delivery of superior IT outcomes for Solnet's clients.
He has recently moved to a role as our Enterprise IT Transformation Director and is responsible for helping our clients successfully transform their IT assets and teams to enable rapid, customer-centric digital innovation.