Choose your right operating model

What makes a suitable operating model for your organisation?

It is really down to you to define. Whilst the statement may seem blunt you shouldn’t try to emulate your competitors or other types of organisation you are not.

IT leadership need to understand the mission of the organisation theirs is key part of and become one with it. Not just align, but be integral part of. It helps to write down the purpose of an IT organisation / department / team and ensure everyone (at least in it and wider SLT) buy into it. The purpose stems from what the parent organisation needs IT for and at what level.

IT vision could read as “IT is to ensure company X will reach market domination within 5 years. This will be achieved by continuously investing into robust products and services that form the backbone for the company. IT aspire to become the partner of choice for the organisation when it comes to [your strengths] enterprise architecture [cloud platforms, integration of data, reporting], business processes [improvement, automation] and … We do this by understanding the business challenges and aspirations, and partnering with the right organisations to deliver desired outcomes.”

So the operating model need to reflect the capabilities parent company need IT to provide. It does help to have the IT organisation development mapped out. Regardless of aspirations being honest with oneself is a must here. We may choose to believe the business views IT as trusted partner or peer, but its unlikely to be that if we fail to provide basic services and lack processes around demand, commercial and change management. Hiding behind failing service provider will only reduce the value of IT in the eyes of those approving investments.

Depending on the size and type of the organisation there are some key areas to keep in house and to outsource.

Once you have defined the desired future state you need to work out how to get there. That’s about developing delivery strategy.