By mastering the art of multi-speed IT, CIOs can become integral to an organization’s strategic agenda and high performance potential. Here are four points to help you get there.

Over the course of this series, I have discussed the importance of developing a multi-speed approach to meet the various challenges and demands CIOs face in today’s new IT environments. I have also described three important areas to focus on when defining effective operating models. In this final post, I will specify concrete steps to help CIOs accelerate to multiple speeds at the same time.

Step 1: Recognize the business need for IT consumption at different speeds

It is essential that IT becomes multi-speed to be relevant. This means the IT operating model needs to change.

Step 2: Employ multiple governance and methods

Governance needs to support multiple ways of operating. Agile and iterative methods can support faster changing user experiences, while traditional waterfall methods are still relevant to core systems of record.

Step 3: Rethink architecture needs

Segmenting the technology landscape into multiple speeds can align IT operations to business consumption and pace of change. At the same time, simplifying the

legacy architecture can result in greater agility and reduced costs. In addition, introducing application programming interface (API) layers can expose core data to faster moving digital channels and ecosystem partners.

But don’t stop there.

Multi-speed IT also requires rethinking other areas of the architecture, including:

  • Cloud services
  • Microservices architecture
  • Use of big data
  • Development and operations (DevOps)
  • Inclusion of exciting new technologies, such as blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI)

Step 4: Invent the new IT organization

Take a good look at the IT agenda to determine where new skills are required to support the multi-speed agenda. Teams should be skilled in new methods like iterfall development (a mix between waterfall and iterative development) and Agile methodologies. And of course, teams should also be skilled in other new tools and techniques, such as DevOps and APIs.

Multi-speed IT is achieved by bringing together a network of skills, instituting a dynamic operating model and installing flexible governance models.

In summary, businesses today consume IT at several speeds all at once. While innovation and digital disruption require quick responses, legacy systems require deliberate care, and shifting operating models require a pace of change somewhere in between.

It is critical that CIOs master the art of delivering change at the pace demanded by each area of the business. The challenge is great—but so is the reward.

Read the full Gearing Up for Growth Using Multi-speed IT report for further information.

Miguel Calvo

Managing Director, New IT Lead, Financial Services Europe

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