April 19, 2012 | Written by: Tadashi Nakahara
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My customer recently changed its department name from “IT Improvement Office” to “Business Process Improvement Office.” This means that the CIO’s focus has changed from IT to business process improvement. If possible, the CIO does not want to further change the IT infrastructure (for example correspondence of software, end of service, and so on). However, the CIO is dissatisfied with the current maintenance of the IT infrastructure, safety operation, and security and would like to improve the situation by focusing more on business process and contribute to the operations of the line of business (LOB).
The following figure shows the difference between the IT Improvement Office and Business Process Improvement Office:
In April 2012, the CIO announced that not only would the department’s name be changed but there would also be staff reassignments. The Business Process Improvement Office will focus on its LOB processes. Therefore, the CIO has decided that key personnel with strategic and IT planning capabilities are to remain in the parent company; certain staff members that have IT capabilities will be moved to the IT subsidiary. The IT subsidiary will have delegated responsibilities and make decisions about procurement, construction, and safety operation of the IT system.
It is my belief that this strategic decision is not confined only to my customer. Many CIOs want to change their departments so that those units will be recognized for contribution to their LOB. Despite the fact that IT remains a cost center, it wants to improve its LOB processes.
What should IT companies (for example, IBM) do? IT companies should be flexible enough to adjust to various customer requirements. I have three ideas:
- IT companies should provide IT infrastructure with cloud computing services.
- IT companies should create SOA infrastructure because the major cloud computing service interface is a web service.
- IT companies should develop the infrastructure for business process management.
For our clients, we should be able to design a road map of their IT environment. I believe we have the capability of implementation. Our journey together in cloud computing has started. We have to realize our vision of success for our partner corporations.