When the IT and the modernization it brought first started arriving the industries, there on the 1960’s, it was faced as something not wanted, but needed. The IT had its own language and terms, like the other areas, but for some reason it was not serious as the other areas. The IT people used to be treated as the people who could make magic and make people’s work easier. But what we have seen lately is a huge evolution and change on how IT is faced.
I heard during my graduation, from a professor, the conclusion that IT is a support area only. And I agree it used to be treated like that. The IT team were the strange guys, their workplaces were the worst, even not having windows to look outside. And it can be the reality until today for some companies. But it’s changing fast.
As a software service company employee, for years I used to be called to talk to our clients about new projects. The final conclusion is that all of those meetings were the same. I was called to create something new that could make activities easier and faster to be done by someone. And after that a waterfall move used to happen: less time was needed, then less people were needed, then less money were spent to keep that process/department.
As an instance, for those projects the procedure inside the demanding companies were the same:
- Identify the need: we are slow at creating contracts for our clients;
- Start the strategy move to change: let’s automatize the contract parts, that can be automatized, and add collaboration so our writers can work faster and together;
- Call the IT department: hey, we want a tool!
- Reach the ROI: we will save US$ 50.000,00 a year having less people writing, and reaching less our law guys;
- Then the IT department calls the consultancy company (me): please build this tool.
After the tool was delivered, the contracts area got faster, the company saved money, and the whole IT talking was finished. Talking business, our clients were demanding about improving and automatizing parts of processes. The IT used to be faced as the support area which could solve problems or improve processes of the products areas.
Then the digital transformation
The customer experience focus, is pushing one of the most mature steps of digital transformation we have this far. The IT becoming the companies’ core. This move has been happening based on a world connected to the internet. Since everybody has a smartphone, and everybody want to solve things faster, leaving behind unnecessary stuff (like lines, support waiting times, etc), the IT is the way to reach those people. The customer needs are changing faster and the time spent on that formal process can’t be handled anymore. It must be possible to make changes and adapt at the same speed of the market. Because of that, the IT must be available 100% of the time.
Using the same instance, but now changing to mature business, the new procedure to improve something would be:
- Identify the need: we must create a new feature to our final customer;
- Start the strategy move to change: let’s include the feature inside the app;
- Reach the ROI: we will make US$ 50.000,00 a year with that new feature;
- Then let’s do it; No more boring meetings are needed;
With this core move, the IT is getting more importance on the business scenario. It’s not the ugly son anymore. The financial industry in Brazil is one of the most mature industries in world, and is pushing the others. I have already seen arguments between the final product areas, which used to rule the scenario, and the IT. It doesn’t make sense anymore to keep these two areas separated.
The next industries
This move seen in the financial area, which goes through every single company, isn’t common to all industries yet. For the next industries affected, its easy to understand the more B2C the company is, the faster will be its rush to adapt. Retail is a good candidate to be the next one. But what about the rest? When the factories will get to it?