One of the new perspectives I gained recently is that most business leaders rarely stop the merry-go-round of dealing with day to day running the business to see that there are only solutions to the problems they complain about daily.
- Lack of the right information to make decisions at the time they need it
- Applications require too many steps and/or lack the ability to quickly automate learned actions from decision data
- Poor performance of new products/services or entry into new markets
Some change when they see the light, most when they feel the heat – and we mean it has to be hot.
Gartner states that 68% of IT budgets on average will be used to maintain existing technology. Not great news for technology vendors. This should be good news for IT, but in truth it is not good at all.
Let me explain.
Most of my personal budget (you know my money) is similarly tied up. Most of my paycheck goes to maintain my existing or past lifestyle (apartment, maintenance on my car, kids college loans, cable TV and so on). I estimate I spend 6% of my income on NEW INNOVATIVE experiences, aka vacations, entertainment and okay a lot of golf.
Much of the ‘maintenance’ payments free my time up to pursue new experiences or to gain new knowledge. I do not have maintain my home (mow, weed, paint and so on), car or book my own travel – so I get to write, read, see new art at museums (a favorite), learn Tai Chi (not really, I play golf) and more.
In other words, I am not just maintaining my lifestyle with most of my paycheck I optimizing it so I can grow my personal experiences and profit in character building (dear me that was corny).
IT with that 68% is not gaining from this spend. That 68% is not freeing up IT to leverage the 32% of the remaining budget and their staff to learn new technologies and experiment with them, thus impacting the top or bottom lines.
It is barely reducing administration time.
Has it eliminated redundant tasks? No.
Ask these questions to challenge the value of the 68%.
- Are most of the IT staff at your company doing different things if not most days at-least each month.
- Working on a new project?
- Building a new app?
- Proposing a new end user capability?
Going back to my days as the guy in charge of IT you had to overcome the fear of failure first with your teams, but then you had to allocated funds and time to not just learn new technologies but PLAY with them.
So strategy cannot be what we say is most important that year buy truly acting on what you should be doing next.
- How can we make decisions better at out company?
- What can we do to find new markets?
- Why can our consumers of the information technology take the next step in exploiting it?
So STOP. Get your best internal people together (IT and Line of Business) and the most trusted external partner you have.
Then spend a day figuring out what you should be doing next.