A Bit of Information Technology Transformation
One of the worlds largest corporations in 2007 said to its new Chief Executive Officer, “Come up with a new strategy and restore our revenue growth across the company, refocus the behavior of the company around high performance and accountability, and reduce the stifling complexity of the organization.” One person, as part of the new executive team, had a vast knowledge base in information technology and decided to take a look internally at the company’s IT structure. Wow, like the company’s body type, he found IT to be bloated, passive, unfocused and unconcerned with performance and accountability. What took place is a storyline right from Communications Strategy 101. I guess when a website is redesigned, looked at critically for aesthetics, color schemes, placement of information boxes, site mapping and interactivity it can be similar to an overhaul of an information technology plan in a way. Were the page headings descriptive enough, concise with a bit of unique flare in their point size? Was there enough room ” white space ” above and below the heading and did it match the navigation item or link it corresponded to? With this global IT company’s look, the IT strategy was to gut the whole global organization and rebuild it. I also guess that the website redo became an undo for lots of the company’s IT employees as they became evaluated for their knowledge and skill sets becoming more subject-matter experts. Unfortunately for the contractors and suppliers relying on the company’s past IT outsourcing, this new strategy shortened the long tail of decentralization and began aggressive reductions in application development and maintenance. The multiyear application development contracts were re-bid saving a consistent drain on the company’s budget not to mention a renewed teamwork approach from vendors retaining IT work. Consistency in website design could be an adequate comparison to this company’s IT transformation, consistency between page titles, headings, text and fonts, colors and the trails or links for easy navigation abilities all aimed at clear effectiveness.
I just hope that this company’s IT transformation does succeed, as their Chief Information Officer said, ” We just spent two very hard years rebuilding this organization, and one thing you learn in transforming an organization is that it’s not a linear process. No sooner do you have contracts done, and their effective, and they’re delivering value, than you have to start the control process again .” Kind of like website design, right? The company is in the oil and gas business with an exploration side and a refining and delivery side. My friend said that they used to have a big rig off his once white sandy beach in Gulf Shores, Alabama.