Transforming IT? Don’t Forget The Big Picture Or These Important Steps

In my last blog, I wrote extensively about how people play an important role in the transformation of IT to IT-as-a-Service and an example of how companies can hire more employees for additional skills but reduce labor costs overall. This time I want to look at the entire IT transformation process as a whole and provide a three-point big picture checklist for how to manage and complete the transition successfully.

First, IT transformation involves wholesale changes in hardware, software, people, process, organization, management, etc. The change cannot be made in just one area and expected to carry over into others. No single change will provide the transformation. The existence of a self-service IT portal is great, but it also requires the appropriate change in process. New people with new cloud skills won’t work well in a sprawling hardware environment requiring manual updates and bug fixes. The journey has to be holistic with thought and planning behind each area of change to ensure they all work together in harmony.

Second, strong commitment is required at every level of the organization from the CIO down to the part-time employees. The CIO must provide a vision for everyone else to follow. They must also provide confidence in the success of the transformation as well as confidence in the individual employees who will ultimately cause the success. Commitment and confidence will roll downhill, but if even one layer of the organization does not buy-in to the change, you risk failure. Providing transformational education can be an extremely useful tool to instill the confidence and commitment.

Third, a change of this magnitude is difficult – especially when it isn’t handled properly. Change is made easier when leaders set the major goals but also provide milestones for the organization to hit incrementally and check progress. Leaders should present a road-map to success so employees understand the purpose of the change, the path it takes to get there successfully, and the understanding that they will still be a part of the final result. The ability to hit smaller, more achievable goals is important to reaching any larger accomplishment.

In short, when embarking on a transformation journey it is important to: look at the big picture of your IT organization from technology to people and process, commit to the change and to the end result while instilling confidence throughout the transition, and create milestones for the organization to achieve along the way to the final destination. By ensuring these big pictures steps are well-planned and executed, you can be successful in transforming IT. Here at EMC, we’ve been successful transforming our IT organization using these steps, so we know you can be successful too.

Have you had experience living this transformation? Are you about to go through the process? Or do you have a question? Post a comment, ask a question, or share your story below.

About the Author: Michael Greene