I am talking about the concept of having a Slow Speed IT lane and a High Speed IT lane within the same organization.
Over the past years a lot of companies have embarked upon the digital transformation the market place (their customers) have demanded.
Digital transformation means a lot of different things to different people but most commonly the following IT challenges are understood to be part of the digital transformation package:
- Online Systems (Web Applications)
- Mobile Apps
- Social Media
The challenge is of course that things happen much faster on the web (the digital marketplace) than a lot of IT organizations are used to operate at. An IT department which has been supporting the legacy component of an organizations IT infrastructure does usually not need to move very fast.
Legacy systems are ordinarily updated rather infrequently...so there is often times the mindset that being slow or deliberate is not a bad thing. There are still plenty of organizations which run enterprise software off an AS/400 and/or use Windows Vista.
The issue of course is that this mindset is producing a competitive disadvantage in the digital marketplace.
Companies are falling behind in their Key Performance Indicators vis a vis their more aggressive, digitally savvy peers.
CIO's and Decision makers do realize that a huge part of addressing the shortcomings is to foster a culture which is more geared towards the Digital Marketplace.
Needless to say...sometimes this is easier said than done.
Often times the very same decision makers which are tasked with spearheading the transformation are part of the culture where slow and deliberate is good.
So..the question of how to get ahead of the curve and transform into the Digital Marketplace deserves to be looked at.
Perhaps the easiest and most practical solution is to outsource the Digital Transformation to outsourcing companies who have a lot of experience in that area while maintaining the existing In House IT infrastructure.
The effect is what is being called a Two Tier IT infrastructure. One lane is High Speed (Digital Transformation and Strategies) and the other lane, Slow Speed lane, deals with Core Legacy and Maintenance.
There are a few advantages operating a two tier IT infrastructure. Presumably the outsourcing provider is up to date on the latest technologies and even more important, stays up to date...thus ensuring that the organization is able to outperform its competitors.
The core IT team remains relatively unaffected and can concentrate on the issues they have proven to be good at.
In combination the two Speed Lanes can offer a successful blueprint how an organization can become more agile while maintaining the continuity needed to safeguard existing business processes.