Leslie Willcocks, Artificial Intelligence, Enterprise Systems, Digital Technology Strategy is about viewing technology as a strategic resource that should meet a business' demands and have applications that are focused to fit around the organisation's users effectively.
Strategic Systems & Technology should support the organisation’s management, operations and other users so that they can exploit the maximum potential suppliers, customers and employees. In so doing it should help an organisation gain a leadership position and a sustainable competitive advantage over its rivals and thus help provide maximum value to its stakeholders and employees. This view is illustrated in the diagram on the next page.
This ideal, however, is rarely realised – and some of the key reasons have been eloquently outlined by Professors M. Bensaou and Michael Earl who wrote:
The concept of strategic alignment arose in the Western world because organisations discovered they were developing Enterprise systems that did not support their business strategies. Development projects were often given priorities according to technical criteria rather than business imperatives, and funding commonly went to projects sponsored by groups with the most clout -
often the financial function – rather than the projects with most strategic importance. The solution to these evils was to develop an Technology strategy. Thus IT vendors, consultants and academics invented and sold planning techniques that aimed first at discovering a company’s competitive strategy and second at suggesting an Digital/Technology strategy to support strategic alignment with business strategy.
Unfortunately, the goal remained elusive. Business strategies were rarely as clear as expected; Digital Technology opportunities were poorly understood; the organisation’s parts had different priorities and the Digital Technology strategies that were eventually drawn up often seemed devoid of common sense. So strategic alignment still heads CIO agendas – and the consulting gravy train still makes frequent runs.
While agreeing wholeheartedly with all of Prof. Bensaou and Prof. Earl's observations, our view at A.T.M Strategic Management Consulting Limited is that a key element of the problem lies with a widespread misunderstanding of business strategy itself. If the very foundation stones of business strategy and what it should entail is misunderstood, any attempt to develop an Digital Technology that aligns with the flawed strategy that emerges is inevitably doomed to failure.
The role of an Digital Systems Strategy is to help the organisation to implement and exploit the full potential of its business strategy in such a way that it offers the company a superior and sustainable competitive advantage relative to its rivals. Furthermore, an effective Digital Systems Strategy must be aligned with the company’s business strategy.
Strategic Objectives to be achieved through the implementation of ‘future-proof’ modern, flexible, scalable Enterprise Digital Technology Systems that can be integrated with the Client’s existing applications & interfaces in order to secure Client’s Digital Assets (Data & Information).
At A.T.M Strategic Management Consulting Limited we believe that any Digital Systems Strategy should include the Five Key Principles listed below:
Deliver improvements & stability, build strategic capabilities & transform through Digital Technology Solution(s) including AI, RPA, ERP, Cloud Infra, in order to achieve the following key objectives through a number of transformational, implementation & delivery Phases, including:
At A.T.M Management Consulting we describe Transformational Cloud / Hybrid-cloud as the essential enabler for realising your wider Digital Strategy & Transformation and achieving ‘Cost Advantage’. For example, if Cloud Strategy & Architecture is correctly selected & deployed it could typically give your organisation 30-40% cost savings over the traditional in-house physical infrastructure model. So, the cost savings that can be realised from Cloud Strategy & Architecture deployment, your organisation can focus these scarce Financial Resources to achieve your wider Digital Strategy & Transformation.
At A.T.M, we believe Transformation Cloud Strategy & Architecture to ensure Global Access from ‘any where’ to company’s information & data by the authorised people & partners that is absolutely an uninterrupted and seamless in a secure & compliant, and in a most cost-effective manner. By leveraging the latest Cloud-driven Intelligent Automation this can be achieved through the implementation of ‘flexible & future-proof’ modern, scalable Cloud / Hybrid Cloud Architecture that can support existing applications, infrastructure, networks & interfaces in order to secure & enhance your organisations Digital Assets (Data & Information). This of course will require that your organisation can develop a robust migration to Cloud Strategy while protecting your existing business services & operations. Logically categorise, plan & prioritise migration targets to reduce the Cloud Transition Timescales, including:
At A.T.M Strategic Management Consulting, we are passionate that every element of your Transformational Cloud Strategy & Architecture what we design and implement, it is tightly aligned with your specific Business Strategies & Objectives. The Cloud Strategies we design are always People-Centric NOT Technology-Centric – based on our unequivocal belief that people must be at the heart of the entire technology & infrastructure design & transformation process, deployment & end-to-end integration with all the business & operational processes and adhering to flexible digital work-practices.
AI driven-automation ‘often called automation 4’ has already started, and we believe this is going to have a huge impact on the global industries, skills & future-of-work as we know it.
This AI automation phase starting now is likely to advance over the next 15-20 years across all industries and sectors predominantly replacing wholesale semi-skilled (30-40% repetitive administrative jobs), especially those that can be easily automated using AI-enabled Robotics processes automation replacing humans. This automation phase will extend further with the evolution of Driver-less Cars & transportation, engineering & factory process, and industry supply-chain.
We believe, while AI has the immense potential to improve productivity, efficiency, and accuracy, improve human living-standards, diagnose control & manages disease faster & better than ever before. However, those organisation that fail to adapt AI early and incorporate into their Business & Digital Strategies, most likely to face major havoc through their traditional business models, massive human displacement creating joblessness, uncertainty, and leading to a dangerous division & conflicts between societies and countries.
Deliver improvements & stability, build strategic capabilities & transformation through Artificial Intelligence (AI) Driven Automation in order to achieve the following key objectives through a number of transformational, implementation & delivery Phases, including:
Information Management Strategy is concerned with the information technology infrastructure and how the information should be collected, filtered and managed. One of the most crucial considerations is how the systems are most effectively deployed to meet the organisation’s business needs.
For example, if the organisation is trying to become knowledge-based, its key management issues need to be addressed as to how the information is stored, who can access it and when & where that access should be available.
Consideration also needs to be given to how the information is formatted, and how it can best be reported to the appropriate executives for use in the strategic decision-making process.
Infrastructure Technology Strategy is concerned with physical hardware and software issues. A key first consideration is whether developing the systems on mainframe computers, mini-computers, large file servers, workstations, or stand-alone desktops would best meet the business’ needs. Following on from that, decisions need to be made as to whether the company should use an Extranet or Intranet system as a way of communicating within its value chain (e.g. suppliers and customers) and within its organisation – and which applications/software systems will meet the company’s business & strategic objectives and best support its core business & operational processes.
The Strategic Objective is to give the right people access to the right information in a secure, auditable and in a compliant manner from anywhere at anytime as/when required over the global internet. This is to be to be achieved through the implementation of ‘future-proof’ integrated Cyber Security Strategy & Solution integrated with the organisation’ existing applications & interfaces in order to secure Client’s Digital Assets (Data & Information). Strategy is intended to achieve the following key objectives through a number of transformational, implementation & delivery Phases, including:
Implementation Strategy is concerned with how to implement the systems decided in the previous stages. Having decided the configuration (i.e. distributed, centralised or decentralised) and the hardware and software, a decision needs to be taken on who will implement, install, maintain and support the system. For example, should it be developed in-house or should it be outsourced? Should only the hardware be outsourced and software developed in-house or both outsourced completely? This decision will need to be taken based on the level of the in-house IS/IT capabilities available.
The IS strategy, information strategy, information management strategy, and infrastructure technology strategy should be assessed and reviewed on a regular basis to ensure that they are fit for purpose and that they align with the business’ strategic objectives. Where complete outsourcing or selective outsourcing contracts have been signed, they must be reviewed to ensure that they are delivering the expected value, performance and business benefits – and whether they meet the objectives that have been set out & agreed.
British Petroleum provides an example of best practice in this area. Having pioneered outsourcing in the 90s, the company tends to review contracts on a yearly basis to ensure business objectives are met. The company also regularly reviews whether there are alternative suppliers who could deliver a better or more innovative technology to provide the company with a comparative competitive advantage. Furthermore, BP has multiple suppliers providing different services to ensure that it does not become stuck with a single vendor or service provider.
An Information Systems Strategy should not only contain IT Strategy: It should also take into account organisational issues such as change management and a human resources strategy associated with IS. In other words, the strategy needs to take into account the manner in which one might move from one organisational structure to another. (For example, from an in-house development and maintenance model to the complete outsourcing of systems that will inevitably have a dramatic impact on people’s jobs and skills.)
We believe the components outlined above are the crucial building blocks of any successful Information Systems Strategy – and as such they form the basis of our approach which is, above all else, geared to providing practical solutions.
At A.T.M Strategic Management Consulting Limited we are passionate that every element of what we design and implement, it is tightly aligned with that specific client’s business strategies & objectives.
The strategies we design are always people-centric NOT technology-centric – based on our unequivocal belief that people must be at the heart of the entire technology & infrastructure design process, deployment & end-to-end integration with all the business & operational processes.
The Infrastructure must support the >People who drive the >Processes, which in turn drives >Productivity and ultimately leads on to >Profitability/Performance.
Our portfolio of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Digital Technology Design, Development & Implementation services includes the following Digital Transformation / Technology Services Portfolio
At A.T.M Strategic Management Consulting Limited we are passionate that every element of what we design and implement, it is tightly aligned with that specific client's business strategies & objectives.
The strategies we design are always people-centric NOT technology-centric - based on our unequivocal belief that people must be at the heart of the entire digital technology & systems, and infrastructure design process, deployment & end-to-end integration with all the business & operational processes.
Our Strategic Transformational Purpose is to build your organisation’s strategic skills, capabilities and core competences, and in the process to help you build a ”Learning” and “Strategic Intelligent Enterprise” that is truly “Built-to-Last”.
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