ICT is to the CEO as a controller to the CFO
***** Nederlandse versie *****
As a director of a company you have a wonderful job. You deliver products or services, and by being better, cheaper, more interesting than your competitor you make a profit. With this profit, you can then grow your business, pay your staff well, develop new services or products.
You started the business because you wanted to sell your product or service yourself, you may have taken over a company, or you have worked up your business from employee to being responsible in your current company.
What I often encounter at companies is that the CEO can tell with great passion and enthusiasm about the vision of the company. What is the turnover of the company, what is the core business, how many people work in the company, and how does it compare with competitors in the market?
In order for a company to function properly, numerous support functions, staff functions, are also necessary. Personnel, management, procurement, HR, ICT, etc. I want to go dig a bit deeper into this last part.
ICT is a necessary evil
Many CEOs and CFOs are well aware of the ins and outs in and around their organization. They make strategic choices to ensure the survival of the company, try to stay one step ahead of the competition, to be an attractive employer and to make a profit.
ICT is often neglected in all these considerations and decision-making processes. ICT is often seen as cost, sometimes even as a necessary evil, as many processes and activities have been digitized. If there is a malfunction that causes PCs to drop out, the website is unavailable or data is not immediately available, it is not uncommon for the entire work process to be lost and your company to go ‘dark’ for a while.
As CEO you typically cannot intervene
What makes ICT even more annoying is that as a director, CEO, you typically cannot intervene directly. For most of us, they do not have enough control over the binary system, and therefore are dependent on the ICT department , who can instruct the systems to do what they have to do. The wonderful world of ICT often equals a black box, with its own laws and its own language. It is therefore not surprising that the ‘Business’ does not want to be bothered with ICT on a daily basis.
However, ICT is more than managing the PCs in the company, more than digitizing work processes or facilitating the newsletter or website. The world around us is changing rapidly, and the role of ICT in our world is hard to overestimate. Thanks to the worldwide web, for example, physical stores have been given a different function. Stores are often only the shop window in which the products are displayed attractively. Sales of the products are increasingly done online. As a result, physical distance to the market is only a marginal aspect that is taken into account in strategic decision making.
Strategy and the facilitating role of ICT
ICT has helped us to run internal business processes more efficiently. Now it is high time to have the ICT facilitate the strategic business processes. ICT has to be involved in these strategic considerations to keep the business for the next decades and / or not be overtaken by competitors. We see a lot of examples of large (family) businesses that have unfortunately missed the digital highway. By not adapting business processes drastically to the changing digital world around us, they failed to set up online sales channels. Other companies have in fact included the possibilities of ICT in their business model.
ICT is much more than an incomprehensible and elusive black box
ICT is much more than an incomprehensible and elusive digital black box. The ICT offers possibilities that did not exist earlier. If ICT can ensure that business processes are shortened so that only in the case of calamities, it can also save on many valuable resources.
ICT can therefore be regarded as an opportunity to generate profit, rather than primarily be perceived as cost.
With the growth of the possibilities of ICT to positively influence the operating result, the awareness has grown that ICT not only has a management function, but also a strategic goal. The ICT will therefore also have to be able to communicate more at CEO level . It is not the technical component that is interesting, but how it serve the business strategy.
ICT is to the CEO as a controller to the CFO
iungo Transformation Services is able to ‘translate’ these technical possibilities into information used for strategic decision making. As a controller is able to translate the numbers into useful management information to which the CFO determines the financial targets so can iungo Transformation Services translate ICT into concrete strategic growth opportunities.
Not involving ICT knowledge in strategic decision-making will lead the company to being overtaken left and right by companies that give this knowledge a full place at the strategy table.
Hurdles, such as insufficient and substantial knowledge of and about ICT, are removed by iungo Transformation Services. iungo Transformation Services also assists for guidance within the company to make ICT fulfill this new role. This requires skills development to both ICT- and strategic personnel.
Looking for a translator? Do you want to get strategic value from your ICT? Contact us for an informal conversation. Our translators are ready for you! You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org or via 06 34735872.