IT in a balancing act between Agility & Sustainable Value Creation
By Mourad Ajarti, Asia Pacific CIO, L'Oréal
Technology innovation is happening across the enterprise with or without IT involved. This is a fact. This is the result of the increased pace of technology disruption across all enterprise domains and disciplines and the consumerization of technology trend leading to lower barriers of adoption and easiness of implementation.
CIOs are facing competing demands ranging from the need to be in the forefront of technology-enabled innovation in the enterprise and the need to harness technology innovation and disruption into long terms product and services that deliver sustained value for the enterprise.
In FMCG industry, the CIOs are constantly engaged in early assessment and adoption of technology that drives better engagement with consumers, better integration with customers and/ or enhance the productivity and life of employees and internal processes.
Agility requires new sets of capabilities that enables running labs like operations across multiple domains where most of innovations are happening today like Mobile, IoT, BigData, Analytics, Digital, Retail Engagement… that are able to engage in innovation assessment and be able to test fast, fail fast or scale fast.
Sustaining Value Creation Means the Ability to Scale Fast and Making the Innovation Repeatable In a Reliable Way across All Aspects of Enterprise
These operations provides quick prototyping capabilities without the need to go through slow and bureaucratic enterprise processes. This is critical to harness technology disruption and filter out noise and spot early winning trends. This agility is critical for IT to see as a partner on the innovation agenda of the enterprise vs IT seen as a limiting and controlling factor.
Sustaining value creation means the ability to scale fast and making the innovation repeatable in a reliable way across all aspects of enterprise. In FMCG industry, this means a newly spotted and tested innovation is available reliably across all brands in an enterprise in a controlled and secure manner that harness technology to deliver sustained value over time. To achieve this, three capabilities are essential to accelerate the transition from successful innovation to sustained value.
The first element is the ability to INTEGRATE fast the newly acquired and tested technology innovations into the existing IT landscape and framework. This requires that IT companies adopt modular architecture enabling growth through easy and fast integration. Integration through micro services and APIs vs. traditional interfaces is a big enabler. This ability is critical to achieve scale fast.
The second element is the ability to OPERATE the new technology innovation with right executional excellence. This is critical to deliver the reliability and repeatability across larger scopes and areas of the enterprise. The ability to deliver executional excellence is synonym of quality as a competitive edge that internal IT can provide. To achieve this hybrid cloud and on premise architectures facilitate integration of cloud based technologies.
The third element is the ability to SECURE data, exchanges and enterprise IP resulting from the adoption of new technologies. With the high awareness around cybersecurity and the newly introduced privacy laws around the world, this element is essential to preserve enterprise and its consumers, customers and employees interest. No other function within the enterprise has the sensitivity and know how to achieve this making IT role in this area unique and largely visible with recent media outbreaks.