At first, Zero Distance sounds like one of these new marketing phrases, with which vendors try to tell us how to make the world a better place. Well, it is one of these marketing phrases. But one in which can be found a lot of truth. Looking at the use cases that were shown at the T-Systems Symposium 2013 and further from all over the world, it is clear what potentials modern information technologies are offering. Here cloud and cloud computing are just a means to the end and serve as an enabler for new business models and help to change our world.
Who does not change dies out!
A fact, traditional companies are doomed, if they do not try to change. To hug the old assets is not the best strategy – especially in the age of digital business. Startups seem to appear from nowhere and overrun the market leaders in its areas, which do not have any chance to react at the same pace. It is the advantage of the greenfield startups using and do not have to deal with nuisance inherited liability of IT and further areas. But there are also companies who are successful on the market for quite a long time and understand the signs of the times. New technologies and concepts always have some influence on the business. Some companies have understood to reinvent themselves and profitable use cloud computing, big data, mobile and collaboration for their own purposes to change. Others, however, cannot or will not understand it and prefer to remain faithful to their status quo.
Hey farmer, where is the bull?
It is frequently surprising in what kind of industries information technology has a massive impact and thus leading to more efficiency. Let’s take for example agriculture. More concrete, the mating behavior of cows. This is important, because a cow just can give milk when she freshened. For the farmer it is therefore very important, that everything works frictionless.
The solution: Is a cow in heat, she is doing some typical head movements. Therefore the cow wears a collar including a mobile communications chip. The farmer gets the needed information to make the bull ready. Even for the freshen the solution helps. Here the tool transmits the values of a thermometer with an integrated SIM card. About 48 hours before the birth the body temperature of the cow changes. Two hours before the birth the farmer gets a SMS to be on site in time.
IT departments need to act more proactively
IT departments are and have always been the scapegoats in the company. Justifiably? Well, some yes, others not. But, is the IT department responsible on its own for the transformation of the business? Yes and no. Primarily, the management is responsible for the alignment of the corporate strategy. They have to say which way the company should go, finally they have the vision. But, the big question is the way the IT department behaves in this context. Is it just the supportive force that responds as necessary to the needs of the management and colleagues, or rather acting proactively?
Offense is the best defense. Today, IT departments should be really close to the technical and innovative pulse and be informed about the changes in the market. Based on a permanent internal or external market and trend research they need to know what to expect for themselves and possibly for the business site and respond as quick as possible and proactively, not to lose too much time, and in the best case to create a competitive advantage. Depending on the trend, they do not need to jump on every bandwagon, but they should at least deal with it and understand the influence, and whether they or their company are affected. If they see potential for new business models, they should carry these into the management, which also needs to understand that IT today is an enabler and not just maintenance. This means that the IT department in the company today has a much larger role as it had ten years ago.
To that end, the management needs to give the IT department a hand and rid the IT department of their routine tasks. About 80 percent of IT spending’s today are invested in IT operations, only to keep things running. These are investments in the status quo and do not lead to innovation. By contrast, only 20 percent of expenditures are invested in improvements or further developments. This ratio must twist, and the management together with the CIO have the task to make this change, so that a company remains innovative and competitive in the future.
Stop hugging the status quo.