How to overcome and embrace the pace of IT change
Today’s IT world sees new technological advancements being made every day, but with more options and expectations from technology, many businesses are struggling to keep up and are becoming paralysed by the inability to take the first step to change.
To help overcome the complexities associated with new IT systems, speed of technological change and the potentially damaging effects of a software ‘glitch’, businesses need to make quality assurance a priority to ensure a project’s success.
There are three key areas that businesses need to address to take that vital first step and embrace IT change:
Ensure both the business and IT aims are aligned
It might seem obvious but a crucial step in ensuring the success of software projects is to confirm that everyone is working towards the same goal. If what the business needs and what IT can provide is mismatched, the end result may not reflect the original requirements of the project or, worse, could fall at the final hurdle and fail at go live.
The focus should be on mitigating risk at every stage and using IT to meet the business goals. This should be achieved by first assessing the quality of each business area to be implemented, establishing a plan and ensuring transparency across the business.
Organisational agility is a key aspect in managing successful IT change. The advent of cloud-based technologies has forced companies to become more agile in their approach to taking on new technology, with budgets no longer a barrier to adoption. With consumer-led demand increasing at an unprecedented rate, organisations must be able to react more quickly and deliver IT change at a faster rate, lower cost and at little or no risk to the business. When all three of these aspects are aligned, businesses can put themselves in a great position for a successful IT implementation.
However, it is the risk aspect that is often overlooked. Reducing budgets can take priority during development, with testing and quality left to the end of the project. Being made aware of problems at go-live stage can have a detrimental effect on a business, leading to costly updates and potential damage to brand reputation.
Processes should be broken up into small stages that are tested at regular intervals to ensure a smooth transition and successful outcomes.
In most situations, working with a number of specialist suppliers, rather than a single large vendor, can be the best route to take. This might sound like a headache to manage, but by working with more suppliers companies can have access to a greater pool of relevant IT experience and knowledge. Agility and flexibility will also be easier to achieve in a specialist supplier environment.
A central process for managing quality and transparency will ensure vendors are working together to the same end and integrated across all areas of the business to minimise the risk of failure.
Breaking down IT transformation into manageable chunks and putting quality assurance at the heart of the project takes away the fear of making the change. This means businesses can reap the benefits of new technology, ensuring they remain one step ahead of the competition.
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About David Rigler, Director:
With over 20 years’ experience in the software industry, David’s expertise covers complex IT problems, multi-sourced environments and IT strategy. He has experience in writing and testing applications across the full range of applications within various industries including financial services, utilities, retail, manufacturing, defence and government.
About Ben Fry, Manager and Quality Evangelist:
Ben’s passion is to help organisations grow, become more effective and boost customer retention through IT. With over 20 years’ experience in delivering successful IT projects, he believes that even the most complex projects can and should achieve the desired business goals, on time and to budget, with no compromise on quality. He is an industry recognised authority on IT delivery, with a string of published articles to his name. His book, The Quality Initiative, is helping to stimulate the IT quality debate at Board level.
SQS is the world’s leading specialist in software quality. This position stems from over 30 years of successful consultancy operations.