Most CIOs believe they are in control of their IT roadmaps, yet external dynamics are creating pressure to change course. No longer can enterprise roadmaps be calibrated once and then put out of reach. To continue to enable business priorities and drive growth in a dynamic technology environment, roadmaps must be monitored and adjusted to account for market forces.
If you're hesitant, or think that perhaps this does not apply to your organization, following are nine signs that market forces may indeed be affecting your IT roadmap:
#9 Your CIO role is evolving
The CEO needs you to become a business-driven thought leader, charting the course for organizational growth. You — and your team — must transition from curating back-office transactional efficiencies to driving the technological innovations that create competitive advantage.
#8 Disruptive and accelerating technologies surround you
Disruptive technologies like mobile and the cloud, and accelerating technologies like AI and blockchain are all around-shiny objects capturing the imaginations of your stakeholders. To control the disruption and use it to your organization's advantage, set a clear strategy for the digital journey.
#7 Evolving IT options abound
It's a new world order. Your IT options are advantageous and unprecedented, including cloud hosting and reduced reliance on your ERP vendor's megasuite of products. You can leverage the winds of change to future-proof the enterprise through a hybrid IT environment.
#6 Operational and organizational changes are prevalent
New technology tools and new ways of doing the work of IT are driving change in operations and in how the organization is structured to support the business. CIOs must optimize both budget and staff to create capacity for innovation and change.
#5 You have no business case to upgrade the ERP, yet still the vendor persists
You've calculated the ROI, and there is no case for devoting budget and staff to a distracting cloud migration that may not even achieve parity with your existing internally deployed ERP solution. Yet the ERP vendor, who is likely losing revenue and influence to more innovative, faster-moving solutions providers, persists out of necessity.
#4 The business wants innovation faster than you can respond
The business wants information technology to be translated into innovation and competitive advantage-right now. Given the complex portfolio of your current ERP applications and infrastructure solutions, that's a challenge. Yet literally, CIOs cannot wait to innovate. You must find the agility to deliver at the speed of business.
#3 Shadow IT is starting to cause concern
Sometimes when IT can't deliver innovation, the business goes around you, taking the lead, and owning new shadow IT solutions. You may hear about them; or you may not. Unknown — and unforeseen — security or interoperability threats could arise from shadow IT initiatives, potentially leading to governance or compliance issues. CIOs must optimize their operations to create capacity for change, and own and deliver the new IT solutions that the business requires.
#2 Staffing your IT team keeps you up at night
The business's increased demands for technology have collided head-on with an IT talent shortage. The demand for expertise exceeds the pool of experts. Disruptive technology requires new skills, and existing technology requires the skills of those who are aging out of the workforce. This imbalance is projected to continue for years. CIOs must figure out how to address it.
#1 You are maximizing the life of the ERP and innovating around the edges
Your internally deployed ERP system is highly functional and running smoothly, complete with customized code. Your back-office transactions will be efficient for years to come, yet your ERP is not facilitating competitive advantage or growth. So, you are innovating by adding high-impact, user-centric, best-in-class solutions around the ERP, delivered by smaller, nimble, groundbreaking providers.
Account for market forces to enable business success
IT leaders who recognize and address market forces as they create — and fine-tune — their enterprise roadmaps will position their organizations for greater success. Those who follow a Business-Driven IT Roadmap that aligns all IT spending with business goals will have a significant advantage over those who do not.
How Market Forces Are Shaping Enterprise Software Roadmaps
Your IT roadmap just got more challenging. Market forces are affecting it, placing a premium on growth and innovation. But if you understand the market forces and plan accordingly, you can achieve growth and innovation—and gain a competitive advantage.
Pat Phelan, VP, Market Research
Pat Phelan is VP of Market Research at Rimini Street. Prior to Rimini Street, she spent 18 years at Gartner providing CIOs and IT leaders with research and advice on strategies for managing the ERP/business application life cycle.