In industries like energy and utilities, digital transformation is especially critical, largely because these sectors pre-date many of the technologies that younger businesses use as their foundation for digital-first business models.
This means that business leaders who seek to maintain a seat at the table need to move swiftly on digital transformation.
How do you prepare?
Fact: You cannot transform your organization if you don't know where to start. When it comes to technology that means a thorough accounting of what technology you have. If you've spent any time in energy or utilities organizations, then you know what a challenge this can present.
Businesses in the energy and utilities space often rely on an astounding number of software applications, from ancient legacy systems to new systems that enable customer interactions via mobile devices. Many of these applications were collected via mergers and acquisitions through the years.
To prepare for the discussions and projects that will make up your organization's digital transformation, then, it helps to have a thorough accounting of the software applications it is using. This is where IT portfolio management (ITPM) comes into play. IT portfolio management strives to help businesses understand the applications they have, what they do, who uses them, and what they cost.
A well-managed portfolio helps business recognize redundancies and dependencies; identify legacy technology that needs to replaced; and find opportunities for upgrades, outsourcing, cloud deployments, and more.
At its most mature IT portfolio management can actually drive the projects that help organizations transform. There are five levels:
At its most basic, ITPM is a standard list of applications used within the organization. This is no small feat given the number of applications present in most energy and utilities organizations.
Beyond a list, Level 2 of the ITPM maturity model aims to create an understanding of how the pieces of the portfolio relate to one another. Understanding relationships helps the organization understand the impact of changes or upgrades.
Level 3 is where organizations can start using their portfolio to become truly transformational; putting the information in your portfolio to work improving the business and helping customers. It moves beyond capturing and listing applications and toward driving actual strategy.
Organizations at Level 4 are using their portfolio to help plan out projects that transform the business. They are no longer being reactive to the needs and wants of others, they're putting their portfolio to work when they create forward-looking strategy.
Achieving Level 5 of the ITPM maturity model is extremely rare, but is achievable for organizations that are dedicated to a long-term, multi-stage plan for transformation. It involves creating an ITPM center of excellence, which can take many forms and sit in different areas of the business (business, IT, finance, etc.).
Energy and utility organizations can't afford to put their transformation on hold while they work to achieve ITPM maturity. To read the entire report, please click below.