Information Technology has been a very mis-named area for many years. When you look at IT spend and investment historically its been about two things – Technology and Technologies that provide Business Processes. The concept of Information has been a third leg at best in this focus. In most organisations in fact Information is a mess, there is no Master Data Management, there is no Data Governance and the CIO is really the data centre and application manager not the executive owner of information in the business.
IT therefore is really just about the ‘T’ its about the technology, and what has this got us? Well quite a lot of benefits
- Automation of business processes
- Straight-through business processes
- Efficiency within business departments
And lots of other things. What we haven’t got however is the horizontal effectiveness in an organisation. What we need to start doing is focus on the ‘I’ because its that which enables organisations to really make the next leap in three key ways
- Predictive Analytics – using information to better see the future
- Decision based enterprises – getting information to the right point to make the right decision
- BPR 2.0 – finally delivering on the promise of BPR by starting from the concept of information exchange and business agility.
Shifting towards a focus on information does not mean looking at data warehouses and reports, its about understanding how its information that delivers insight and its insight that drives the next level of business effectiveness.
Its not surprise that business leaders are focusing on information for competitive advantage, the real question is whether CIOs can evolve quickly enough to remain relevant.