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It’s time to rethink IT

New School of IT

The role played by IT today is different to what it was just a few years ago. Once seen merely as a cost factor, IT is now becoming an increasingly important element in shaping new business models. The goal of the New School of IT is to prepare IT for its contribution to a successful business. When it comes to key decisions, IT experts certainly need a seat at the table. The New School of IT combines the strategies, measures and technologies you need to manage this process of transformation.

The components of the New School of IT:

  • Ambidextrous attitude: The organisational approach that combines stable IT operations and visionary business ideas.
  • Cloud native thinking: Fully leverage the potential of cloud technologies without making any compromises.
  • Data mindedness: Handling data in the right way is the key to any company’s success.

Benefits to IT: enhance IT’s position as a strategic pioneer and partner for all crucial factors in the business journey.

Read on to find out more about the New School of IT or contact us to arrange a meeting so we can discuss your requirements and goals.

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The big picture – concise and at no cost:

  • What role does IT play in the success of your business?
  • What do forward-thinking organisational structures look like?
  • What is the role of data-driven business models?
  • What opportunities do cloud technologies offer?

Ambidextrous attitude

The potential in the organisation

Ambidexterity*: sounds like a medical issue …

… but is in fact an organisational solution.

* Ambidexterity
= ability to use the right and left hands equally well – 
in an organisation, this refers to the ability for an organisation to be both innovative/creative and cost-efficient and stable.

Delivering results today while laying foundations for the business of tomorrow – IT departments often find themselves caught between two conflicting aims. On the one side there is the desire for stable, cost-optimised day-to-day business. On the other side there are new business applications for which state-of-the-art technology is indispensable. The term “ambidextrous attitude” describes an organisational approach that takes both of these opposing requirements into account.

You need two strong hands to bring both strategies together in an organisation:

  • The role of Chief Digital Officer (CDO) as a driver of transformation
  • The role of Chief Information Officer (CIO) with knowledge and expertise of data and technologies

Ambidextrous attitude opens up new opportunities:

Management

New School of IT stands for IT that is more than simply a cost factor, developing into a business enabler and a central driver of innovation and efficiency.

Organisation

New School of IT stands for IT redefined: moving away from conventional heads of IT towards CIOs and CDOs in a digital and ambidextrous organisation.

Ambidextrous attitude is the answer to the new role played by IT in a business context. After all, specialist IT knowledge and abilities can make a real difference in critical areas. IT is not a corporate department, it is the breeding ground for successful businesses. But a new culture and a new type of organisational structure are required to leverage the full potential.

  • The CDO’s primary focus is the business, the market, the products and the company’s digital innovation. The CDO must have in-depth knowledge of digital technologies to perform this role.
  • The CIO contributes the IT competencies and focuses on aspects such as cost efficiency and smooth operations.

These roles can overlap once business models become data-driven, which is why combining them by applying an ambidextrous attitude is so important. A variety of organisational models are possible:

  • CDO and CIO report to the CEO
  • CDO and CIO roles are held by the same person

Benefits to IT: Re-positioning away from a pure cost factor to a business-shaping unit.

Recommendations:

Identify own strategic capabilities in relation to the core business of the company

Culture of respect between CDO and CIO Knowledge and understanding of different areas of responsibility, requirements, cultures and goals

No outsourcing of digital aspects outside of the core organisation CDO and CIO are integral parts of the company.

Cloud native thinking

The potential in the architecture

A no-cloud strategy …

… is like a no-business strategy.

The use of cloud technologies and processes can open up a whole world of benefits: lower costs, faster processes, greater scalability and improved stability. Working “in the cloud” is becoming standard procedure throughout the IT environment. Defining a cloud strategy helps businesses benefit from these advantages, without any of the adverse effects such as vendor lock-in, data protection uncertainty and a loss of control. But lifting and shifting applications into the cloud is not enough. The cloud can only be used to its full potential if companies plan and implement their development and infrastructure to be cloud native right from day one.

Cloud native thinking broadens horizons:

Software development

From waterfall to agile development to DevOps

Application architecture

From silos to service-oriented architecture to microservices

Provision

From servers to virtual machines to containers

Infrastructure

From server room to data centre to cloud platform

Whether it’s 10 customer enquiries or 10,000, flexible processes running on elastic infrastructure can absorb demand. Cloud native refers to a set of architectures, practices and tools to develop and operate applications.
Cloud native topics include:

  • Develop a cloud native strategy
  • Migration strategy and project management
  • Software process: DevOps
  • Application architecture Microservices architecture
  • Deployment: containers
  • Infrastructure: cloud platform
When used correctly, cloud native systems can quickly offer benefits in terms of reliability and scalability at a low infrastructure cost. A large number of concepts and ideas are relevant here, from cloud native principles to cloud native methods. The job of business management is to orchestrate everything so that the entrepreneurial mindset and cloud native thinking are merged into one.

Benefits to IT: facilitating stability and cost reduction, even at a high level of decision-making autonomy.

Recommendations:

Platform-neutral or cross-platform mindset. Cloud native tools such as Kubernetes and Prometheus are available as cross-platform applications.

Develop a cloud strategy (public/private/multi-cloud). Make decisions on a case-by-case basis but never lose track of the overarching migration scenario.

Tackle risks of technology/vendor lock-in. Open-source standards and interface can be of help here.

Data mindedness

The intelligence in the analytics

If everything here is full of data anyway …

… then the least we can do is use it.

Data can become a competitive advantage that turns entire industries upside down. From a business perspective, optimised data flow should determine the structure of the organisation and how internal processes are defined. The CIO is responsible for proper data handling, from data gathering to data assessment and utilisation. The CIO has all of the tools necessary to approach business divisions with new business ideas or opportunities for optimisation.

Data mindedness broadens horizons:

Data

From data warehouses to big data to machine learnable data lakes

Data procurement

From own data collection to case-by-case data exchange to control centres in data ecosystems

AI processes

From the application of AI to in-house AI IT developments to AI-driven business model change processes

The task of an IT organisation is to develop legacy data warehouse and big data systems into machine learnable data lakes. This data knowledge, combined with AI expertise, forms the basis for integrating the CIO organisation into product and software development.

Data mindedness includes the following elements:

  • Developing data strategies for various scenarios (from growth through own data to outsourcing to external data operators)
  • Developing an AI strategy
  • Creating a product/service roadmap focused on data and AI
The growing importance of AI to the success of a business is also increasing demands in terms of employee competencies. Methodological expertise – the ability to handle a variety of tools and programme libraries – is becoming a key success factor.

Benefits to IT: the CIO increases their share of the business’ value chain on the basis of data and AI expertise

Recommendations:

Roadmap new business ideas and potential cost savings facilitated through data and actively address the topic of AI from an IT perspective.

Address the data strategy, for example via a scenario analysis concerning a data vision

Find answers to key questions, such as: What data do we already possess and how can it be used? What are our data analysis and data engineering capabilities?

Get ready

Your roadmap to the New School of IT

It’s time to find out what the New School of IT means for your business. To discover how it can influence your IT. To understand how trends and developments link together and what they can initiate.

Do you have any questions about the New School of IT?

What the New School of IT is also changing: no technology can replace face-to-face dialogue. Let’s talk about your vision.

Or call us on +49 231 7000-7000