Are You A Tactician Or A Visionary?
May 27, 2014 Timothy Prickett Morgan
Are you a tactical IT shop, or a visionary one that has figured out not only how to implement cutting-edge technology, but convince your organization to keep plowing money into systems and software? If you want your company to make more money, a forthcoming survey from IBM suggests you need to have a vision.
At the Edge2014 event hosted by IBM’s Systems and Technology Group in Las Vegas last week, general manager Tom Rosamilia, who is familiar to the IBM i community as a former general manager running the Power Systems division before he was moved on up to the boardroom, gave out taste of some data from the survey that it had conducted to try to figure out what companies were doing with infrastructure and what the end results were in terms of driving the business and giving it an edge over the competition.
That is, of course, the theme of the Edge shindig, and if the STG folks didn’t already believe what they have found in the survey, there would not be such an event. It is nice to have some quantitative data to back up the idea.
So IBM surveyed 750 organizations in 18 countries and across 19 industries, talking to CIOs, CTOs, and other high-level executives in the IT organization. Everybody wanted to talk about infrastructure readiness, said Rosamilia, and they believed that collaboration across the business units and thinking of IT not as a cost center but as a means of driving revenue were keys to success.
“Our first data point is this: 70 percent of organizations believe IT infrastructure optimizes revenue and profit and is a key enabler,” said Rosamilia. “That’s great news. However, only 10 percent said that they were ready. So we have a supply and demand issue here that we need, as our organizations and as leaders of our teams, to solve to cross this path.”
IBM culled out two different kinds of IT organizations: those that were tactical, and those that were visionary.
“What I will tell you–and you will have to wait for July for the rest of the results–is that what we found was for these visionaries, they had higher profit margins, higher revenue growth, and higher earnings in general. So this is not an accident, these visionary companies using IT to lead their businesses.”
Here’s the chart that Rosamilia quickly flashed up:
As you can see, the visionaries have a much higher tendency to use cloud computing and somewhat greater penetration of the use of smartphones and tablets. They tend to have more IT partners and they tend to use them more as well, and they have slightly higher use of analytics. They also have better integration between their back-end “systems of record,” by which IBM means the places where money is handled and the transactions for producing and delivering a product get done, and “systems of engagement,” which is how the company interacts with customers and partners in an increasingly social and mobile fashion. Both kinds of systems matter, and IBM wants to build yours.