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  1. Peter Schooff
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  3. Tuesday, 19 June 2018
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We haven't had a discussion on the gap between IT and business in awhile, so do you think the gap between IT and business is still holding a lot of companies back?
Jim Sinur Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Blog Writer
I think it's the way IT leverages technologies as a wedge to progress the technologies themselves instead of looking for desirable business outcomes and linking technologies that can help to those very outcomes. Even when there is a good fit, the technologies may not be ready or the organizational skill sets are lacking to successfully implement the change. IT also depends on scare tactics to influence the business into trying new stuff. "Look at Uber and taxis" , "Look what happened to Blockbuster" etc. Maybe we need to spend more time in the shoes of the business. Just saying :)
References
  1. https://jimsinur.blogspot.com/search?q=digital+business
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Max Young Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Blog Writer
Unpopular opinion. The Gap between IT and Business is a necessary friction that can generate innovation and speed. A company this is 100% at ease will become complacent, like a body that gets to eat whatever it wants. A little bit of hunger, a little bit of friction, is a good thing. A little much, however, can lead to some nasty road burns :-)
References
  1. http://www.capbpm.com
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@Max, your comment on the benefits of friction between IT and business is unexpected -- and thought provoking.
  1. John Morris
  2. 2 months ago
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Jose Camacho Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Undoubtedly, it remains difficult to establish a transparent relationship. The business resists being structured to facilitate alignment with IT, and IT is focused primarily on managing its own assets in an ongoing effort to ensure the operation of current systems and the acquisition of knowledge of emerging technologies. There is still a lack of a third element that guarantees the alignment between the needs of the business and the most appropriate technological solutions.
Companies that bet in this type of profile can quickly exponentiate their benefits, as they can structure their business dynamically, improving their ability to adapt to new needs that tend to increase their frequency, offering their clients multiple experiences with high levels of satisfaction, and consequently better financial results, and making better use of the potential that current and emerging technologies have to offer.
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Emiel Kelly Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
No, the gap between business and customers is holding companies back.
Sharing my adventures in Process World via Procesje.nl
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Emiel has really done something cool here.
The examples I've seen of where there is strong and valuable alignment is where all sides (operations, IT, compliance etc) are actually focused on the needs of the customer. If everyone "turns 90 degrees" to face the customer then it becomes a lot easier to have all the internal conversations about priorities, investments, measurement, etc etc that need to be had.
  1. Neil Ward-Dutton
  2. 3 months ago
Thanks Neil. Your text, combined with mine, is more or less what I, taking a risk, wrote in an application letter where they looked for a business analist (besides engineer, the most vague title in the world ;-) to close the gap between business and IT.

I'll start in my new job August 1 ;-) (8 minutes cycling from my home ;-)
  1. Emiel Kelly
  2. 3 months ago
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Karl Walter Keirstead Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
There is a gap between "business" and IT but this does not mean that IT does not understand the "business" of their organization - what they don't often understand is the needs of top management and the needs of operational staff in terms of methods/computer apps.

I suppose this translates to 'they know what their organizations are doing" but "they don't know what architecture their organizations should have to improve performance".

Strategy consultants obviously feel that top management needs better tools for evolving strategies e.g. something close to RBV as opposed to "back of the envelope" or "restaurant menu".

I suppose most operational consultants who believe in BPM wonder how IT can give operational staff the right tools when they keep rolling out transaction processing systems that do not have ACM/BPM to provide orchestration and governance.

Since neither top management nor operational managers know what tools/methods are available, the cannot go to IT and say "we need this".

Unless they have access to or call in a management consultant who has experience recommending the right architecture for managing strategy on the one hand and the right architecture for managing operations on the other hand, the organization can go on for years with poor tools/methods.

For me, it's all about architecture. i.e first the problem, then the solution.
References
  1. http://www.kwkeirstead.wordpress.com
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Kay Winkler Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
There are several aspects to it - on hand you would have differences of focus when it comes to the "ultimate" business drivers that derive from the company's final customers and what they value, comparing IT to other departments. IT, in that sense, same as many other back-office/not customer facing sections of the company, tend digress in their operations, effectiveness and, often, goal settings as well as measurements, the more detached and/or distanced they are from the market realities. In recent years, aspects such as the "XaaS" have had a remedying effect on that front.
On the other hand, there remains the "language barrier", when it comes to translating goals, projects and business improvement cycles from the operational and business fronts of the company to their IT peers. There too, things have gotten a better to a certain degree, where companies achieved to leverage things like notations standard that allows for a common ground in communications between different disciplines and even between companies (affirming the notion of my last post that things such as BPMN are, ultimately, a good thing).
All in all, I believe things have gotten better, are progressing into the right direction but barriers still exist and must be taken as a continuous effort, still to date.
NSI Soluciones - ABPMP PTY
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Dr Alexander Samarin Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
The gap between company’s supporting functions (including IT) and company’s core-business functions is the trouble. The latter are competing at the market level (thus they must be very good in accordance to Emiel) and the former are not competing at all.

Make your inter-organisation transactions cheaper than your intra-organisation transactions, scrap all none core-business functions and establish B2B partnership with the best companies in IT, HR, procurement, etc.

Modern technologies, including BPM, microservices and blockchain are ready to help you in such a digital transformation.

Thanks,
AS
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From https://news.cgtn.com/news/35636a4e33637a6333566d54/share_p.html
"Under the new management structure, there are three types of people: platform owners, SME (small- and micro-sized enterprise) owners, and SME staff."
  1. Dr Alexander Samarin
  2. 3 months ago
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Max J. Pucher Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Blog Writer
What? Still holding back? For most businesses the gap between what IT could do and they are actually doing has widened. And when you look at the reality partnerships or outsourcing does zilch. Just was told by a prospect who decided against us four years ago that they spent 70 million on this customer communication case management project with a big name IT company and there is nothing ... main issue is integration of software products and all the by now outdated analysis work. Any solution that has to be programmed by a third party has a 90% probability of failure. Any implementation that needs a long analysis of processes and rules produces outdated solutions even if it completes. Digital transformation of core customer facing services can only happen with a platform that supports fast configuration of interfaces and enables business to execute towards easily-defined goals within a user defined rule set. A process is an outcome ... not a function or flow. Communication and digital interaction is the carrier not BPM automation.
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'A process is an outcome' I like that (for certain type of cases)
  1. Emiel Kelly
  2. 3 months ago
A process instance is an outcome by definition.
  1. Dr Alexander Samarin
  2. 3 months ago
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Bogdan Nafornita Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
I concur with Max - the gap has widened, in many ways:
- between what IT can do and what IT actually does - as described above, only worse
- between what IT can do at a specific price point and what Business expects at that price point
- between what IT can do and where the rest of the world moved in the meanwhile
CEO, Co-founder, profluo.com
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David Chassels Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Agree with Max and Bogdan as our experiences highlight the simple message by the large "systems integrators" hides the truth of the complexity in IT which results in such high failure rates of big projects. The result is business have inherent distrust of IT but will rarely challenge them and so that gap remains even getting bigger?
There seems to be a movement towards looking at how to address the legacy issues of cost and complexity. This strikes me as an opportunity for building Business friendly green field solutions surrounding the brown fields of legacy. This results in focusing on supporting people with outside in approach using as required any useful legacy; indeed could result in retiring much of the legacy mess. The new now proven no/low code Digital Business Platforms driven by BPM disciplines should readily and cost effectively begin to resolve this gap problem?
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Kai Laamanen Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Thee are several barriers of effective collaboration between IT and Business... here are my perceptions:

1. Lack of shared language... language is the means how we communicate. Most IT people speak technical language such as defined in BPM standards. Most Business people talk strategy, economic, marketing or sales language which they learn in business schools..... BPM could offer the common language if we keep high level enough

2. Technical culture vs Business culture.... technical culture tends to deal with details of the technical realization and restrictions. Even the IT architecture issues get very complex to understand without technical background. The business is more social, continuously evolving. There is difficult define any rigid structure. Everything depends on context and situation. In most cases the business architecture is not very well defined nor understood.

3. Means vs. results.... the IT is all about means... the business is all about results. It is always easier to talk about desired results or objectives than how to reach them. Business people want results and IT people try to develop tools. Here is easy to create atmosphere of blame which makes fruitful collaboration difficult.

br. Kai
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Boris Zinchenko Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Lack of alignment between IT and business is often seen among primary obstacles to efficient business development. However, it is an exaggeration to literally associate IT and business. With all its power, IT serves just as a tool enabling business operations. As any tool, it has a complex inner structure, which ought not coincide literally with business structure.

Therefore, the gap between business and IT is natural and justified. It should not be obligatory avoided. Elimination of this gap will yield either in a sub-optimal IT structured equally to business or in inefficient business borrowing internal logic of IT. Instead, business should aim a synthesis of operations and technology by cultivating distinct features inherent to each domain.

The primary gap between IT and business is the gap of misunderstanding. BPM plays the crucial role in overcoming this deficiency of communication. The goal of BPM is in seamless integration of business and IT, not in direct merging of them. BPM provides a common language, which allows business and IT to understand each other and productively work together for the ultimate success of the organization.
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John Morris Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
A long time ago, in another galaxy, firms advertised for "Programmer/Analysts". And the job was 95% programming and 5% analysis. Because it took a LONG time for a P/A to build any value using COBOL. Of course, the entire reason for paying for the P/A was the 5% of analysis, which guided the construction of useful tools.

Under these conditions, as long as everyone was limited by the same technology productivity limitations, business was happy. Because business execs didn't have to come up with new ideas too often. It took a long time for new ideas to be realized in software. And in the meantime, execs could get on with business. Or golf.

This is no longer the case. Because software now is so comparatively productive. The "gap" between business and IT -- if we measure it by time -- has shrunk by orders of magnitude. Despite the replies earlier in this BPM.com dialogue (which are true on their own, and wonderfully insightful), the new regime of software productivity puts enormous pressure on executives. New ideas can be realized in days and weeks, instead of months and quarters. And good ideas and the systematic business analysis that goes with it, is tough. Because everyone's at the top of their game in the executive suite. It's hard to out-think the competition. The difference now is you have to out-think the competition every week, instead of every quarter!

So, you could say the "gap between IT and business" is holding back a lot of companies -- if you consider that executives might not be ready with new ideas fast enough. This is a "supply-of-good-new-ideas-driven gap". (The so-called application backlog is not necessarily a contradiction to this phenomenon: much of the backlog is maintenance and non-strategic.)
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