What is IT Transformation?

As the name implies, transformation is a radical change in "form, appearance, nature or character" aka "state" of something. 

What is Transformation? 
Business Transformation involves:

  • Transformation Baseline: An understanding of the current state or "as-is" or "where are we?"
  • Transformation Vision: a vision for the desired state or "where should we be?" Of course, it involves a carefully considered analysis of the internal and external factors affecting the organization or business, considering alternatives or options and choosing one. Some experts tend to add vision, mission, goals and critical success factors, not just vision.
  • Transformation Strategy: a preferred path or steps to altering one state to another.
  • Transformation Implementation: executing the various initiatives the transformation strategy has identified - one might add, successfully!
  • Transformation Change Management: ensuring that all parts of the organization buy-in, participate in, own, accept and execute on the processes identified.
  • Transformation Process: the process which brings about the change from baseline to operation

Emerald Insight provides this diagram of Business Transformation:
Business Transformation
What is IT Transformation?
IT Transformation is the process used to create an IT Capability to maximize shareholder value. IT Transformation process includes IT Baselining, IT Benchmarking, IT visioning, IT Strategy, IT Implementation, and IT Change Management.
IT Transformation leverages enterprise architecture planning which creates a description of the current IT Capability, the desired IT capability and the roadmap for the journey from the former to the latter.
IT Transformation uses IT Governance to monitor and control all its processes. IT Governance includes guiding principles, policies, organizational structure, business case preparation, and project portfolio rationalization.
IT Transformation uses IT Sourcing to find the most effective and efficient external partnerships and relationships to create the desired IT capability. IT Outsourcing is an integral part of IT Sourcing.
IT Transformation uses IT Knowledge Management to guide the journey and capture the lessons learned.
IT Transformation results in the fundamental redesign of the IT Organization.
IT Transformation results in the fundamental redesign of IT Infrastructure.
So, it appears that IT Transformation encompasses ALL IT processes. Does it? Absolutely!
The key is to understand the connection between IT transformation and the rest of the IT processes, especially, IT Strategy. IT Strategy lays out the path but IT transformation has two additional critical elements, namely, IT Implementation and Change Management.
Here are a couple of discussions on what is IT transformation and the definition of IT Transformation that you might find useful.
IT Transformation Framework
HCL provides a "Vision to Value" framework for IT Transformation depicted below:
IT Transformation Vision to Value Framework of HCL
HCL IT Transformation framework:
IT Transformation Framework
IT Transformation Journey
In an article on IT Transformation, NetApp defines IT transformation as: "This real sense of urgency for IT transformation is driven by new business models, competition, emerging technical trends (e.g., cloud) and the way we consume technology (anywhere, anytime, from any device). In this context IT transformation is about designing, architecting and implementing the necessary changes (people, process and technology) to enable such change."
The article also depicts the following IT Transformation Journey:
IT Transformation Journey
Why Transform IT?
CIOs and other IT Leaders are compelled to transform their IT Capability because of changes in the business, its operations or environment. IT Transformation is often undertaken to improve agility, cut costs, adapt strategy and, you guessed it, in response to "flavor or the month" considerations.
IT Transformation Drivers

  • Response to Business Change: IT Transformation is sometimes required to move the IT Organization to a new business model, or enter new markets or launch new products. If the business re-engineers then IT must follow. IT Transformation is often needed to improve IT Organization agility - react fast to keep up with the ever changing business environment.
  • Response to Leadership Changes: A new CEO often changes their entire approach and IT must follow. CIOs are known to change the organization they join - to cast it in their own image aka leadership style, or to change it to a model they believe is more effective.
  • Response to Efficiency Demands: CIOs are under pressure to cut costs. Some IT footprints provide better cost graphs than others.
  • Response to Effectiveness Demands: Very often, Business IT Alignment drives IT Transformation because major changes in IT capability are required to address business needs.
  • Response to Mergers and Acquisitions: When two organizations merge, what will the new organization look like? That is anybody's guess but changes are that there will be IT Transformation involved in one or both organizations involved.

As one can imagine, there are a multitude of reasons to undertake IT transformation. The risk is not analyzing the impact of the transformation prior to embarking on the journey.
IT Transformation Benefits
One of the more famous IT Transformation implementation case study is at New York State. They define the benefits of IT transformation as follows:
Benefits of the IT Transformation for IT customers

  • Elevated business delivery through partnerships that align IT more closely with agency needs and enable more innovation
  • Greater agency ability to focus on their core missions without losing transparency or control over their IT solutions
  • More value and resources per dollar spent on IT

Benefits of the IT Transformation for State IT staff

  • World-class skills and experience supported by state-of-the-art technologies
  • Personal/professional growth and opportunities for promotion
  • Active participation in building a new high-performing IT organization

What do you think about IT Transformation? Is it something consultants cooked up to keep in business or it is something a CIO and their team must understand in order to be successful? Please drop us a line so we know what you are thinking at Sourabh period Hajela at cioindex dot com.

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