Achieving Business Value From Technology
Over many years, I have been privileged to work with a group of enormously talented and dedicated professionals, both among colleagues and clients. I believe that this exposure has contributed significantly to this book, not least in terms of its being practical and applicable. I owe a special debt to my colleagues in Gartner’s Cork office, who identified new and innovative ways in which the framework could be applied. They encouraged me to build on and extend what was originally my PhD thesis into a practical tool for business users. I must confess that at the time I did not share their faith in its potential. I have also leaned heavily on Gartner’s unparalleled research resources, facilities, and the company’s thought-leaders in this field such as Tim Ogden, who made a huge contribution to the book’s structure, and Bill Kirwin, who really kicked the whole project off. Finally, I want to express particular gratitude to Michael (Mick) Loftus. Mick is no longer with Gartner, having “retired” to academia, but nonetheless contributed hugely not just to this book, but in terms of structuring and putting “shape” on the whole framework.
The past few years have produced a confluence of events that have reshaped the global economy. Around the world, freemarket competition has flourished and a new globally interdependent financial system has emerged. Whatever we might think about it as individuals, and despite very vocal opposition, the system is likely to remain. Reflecting these changes, core business relationships and models are dramatically changing, including shifts from:
➤ Product centricity to customer centricity.
➤ Mass production to mass customization.
➤ Protracted value chains to speed-based competition.
➤ Traditional employment arrangements to the growth of free agency.
➤ The value in material things to the value of knowledge and intelligence.
In concert with these trends, a new series of business success factors and challenges have emerged that are helping to determine marketplace winners and losers:
➤ Enterprise agility, often supported by a “plug and play” IT infrastructure (with a flexible and adaptable applications architecture).
➤ A focus on core competencies and processes.
➤ A redefinition of the value chain.
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