Research Supports the Need for Business Transformation

Need for Business Transformation

I first wrote about the Informatica acquisition of Proact and the BOSTTM Toolkit in Connecting Architecture To Business Strategy last December. Now, a few of my favorite authors, Peter Weill and Jeanne Ross from MIT Sloan CISR, just published a research brief which provides solid arguments for organizations to constantly transform themselves. The timing couldn’t be better with the launch of Informatica’s Business Transformation Services on August 4th.

The paper, Thriving with Digital Disruption: Five Propositions[1], makes the case that the digital economy is here to stay.  The five propositions and my editorial on them are:

  • The Appointment of the CDO is a Cop-out. Anyone can introduce innovate new technologies, but what is really needed to generate business value is integrated organizational capabilities. The paper says “One person can’t coordinate organizational parties that aren’t more committed to integration than their individual pursuits.” Instead of one person to lead the company to digital success, we need multiple people to commit to making it happen. Informatica’s Business Transformation Toolkit does that.
  • Going Digital Requires Organizational Surgery. This probably goes without saying, but you can’t totally shift a company to being customer-centric and still keep the old product-centric structures and incentives in place. At a minimum the business processes need to be reworked, shared performance goals must be established, new roles established, and responsibilities in the end-to-end process clarified. BOST helps here as well by providing an enterprise-wide planning framework.
  • Value Chains Are Becoming Irrelevant. Weill/Ross make the point that “most companies are better defined as a set of integrated services that are far less linear [than value chains].” The beauty of BOST is that the cornerstone of its organizational reference models are Service Functions with clearly define service flows (who is serving who) and information exchanges (which services are creating and using what information). This rich model along with a corporate Service Manifesto provide the foundation for transforming value chains into much more flexible, agile and responsive organizations that thrive on service excellence.
  • Don’t Have a Digitized Platform? You’re Cooked! The paper makes the point that “the underlying digitized platform is table stakes for rapid innovation” and that the “platform is not sexy” which will tempt organizations to instead focus on “flashy innovations rather than solid underpinnings.” So what does this platform look like?  The Informatica platform is a terrific foundation with its capabilities for master data, data quality, reference data management, information security & privacy, metadata management, business intelligence & analytics, cloud integration, and data archiving.
  • Forget About Products; Think Solutions. Weill/Ross say “For most companies the product-to-solutions shift is a massive change of culture, incentives, structure, systems, and skills” and that the solutions “are typically multi-product and multi-channel and often challenge the status-quo.” This demands not just a single change event that is once-and-done, but rather a series of multiple-change events.  Once again BOST Business Transformation comes to the rescue with a business-led approach to transforming the organization not just once, but on an ongoing basis.

Like I said, this MIT research brief couldn’t have come at a better time.  It presents a compelling perspective on why organizations need to adopt a method for ongoing transformations.  And the best thing about Informatica’s approach is that doesn’t hold customer’s hostage by being dependent on its skilled professional service consultants on an ongoing basis. The capability is transferred to clients through the BOST Toolkit so that organizations can perform complex transformations repeatedly and successfully.

[1]  Peter Weill, Jeanne W. Ross, Stephanie L. Woerner, Thriving with Digital Disruption: Five Propositions, MIT Sloan Center for Information Research, Research Briefing, Volume XV, Number 7, July 2015