Who owns Competitive Advantage?

Most industry analysts today predict that the adoption of cloud has granted greater responsibilities and muscle to business leaders and the role of IT is narrowing down to technology evaluation and selection.

This is true to a large extent – cloud is breaking the status quo. But if you look at this with a broader lens, cloud empowers business users to be accountable for their processes and IT can actually focus on innovation and address the core technology needs of the firm.

Traditionally, most organizations who envisioned standardizing and improving business processes had made an obvious choice of deploying an ERP, CRM or similar enterprise applications. Operational efficiency was the need of the hour and that also provided a competitive advantage. But today, most organizations have deployed the same set of applications and best practices. Now, the question is “How do organizations differentiate themselves”? Operational efficiency is required for business but does not provide competitive advantage.

The current wave of competitive advantage is moving towards enhancing business agility and making better business decisions. This involves increasing the speed of business, providing greater visibility into hidden business data and empowering business users so they can make informed, data-driven decisions. Organizations desiring to achieve this are embracing Cloud, Analytics and Big Data.

Although a majority of use cases for cloud, analytics and big data are targeted towards business users, IT can be a beneficiary of this adoption as well. This is a fantastic opportunity for IT teams to stay abreast of latest technologies and recommend alternatives to business that help them accelerate processes and deliver greater value.

IT teams can evolve and provide significant value back to business in the following manner:

  1. 1. Identify current technologies that do not deliver capabilities to improve transparency, analyze and manage large volumes of data; Find the right technology
  2. 2. Evaluate and select the right vendor who can provide the most relevant solution
  3. 3. Create a talent pool with the right mix of skills that can address business needs
  4. 4. Focus investments in areas that help business gain competitive advantage

At the outset, these appear to be simple and tactical activities performed by an IT team, but in reality this is a great responsibility and can directly influence the growth of an organization.

As a trusted IT partner to several organizations, we have been fortunate to receive numerous opportunities for playing the role of an Advisor to large and small IT organizations. While Bodhtree’s Cloud, Analytics and Big Data solutions aim to empower business users, we also enable IT teams to become key contributors for business growth.

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