“Change Enterprise” Part 1 – Understand the Tools

Following from my first post in this series introducing the model of Change Enterprise let’s focus on the first of the five key areas you need to work on in the framework; Understand Tools

By “Understand the Tools” I mean more than just awareness of them. Businesses, especially large ones, need to interpret the impact and benefits from a cloud based infrastructure.

Keeping up to date is a challenge here, and I’ve worked in many organisations that have the correct job roles: Cloud Architect, Enterprise Change Manger etc. but if these roles are filled with team members that do not stay up-to-date then they are not serving the business. At the current speed of change we need to make sure that these teams, more than most, are constantly challenged on their knowledge. Change Organisations send their teams to events like Microsoft Ignite, Tech Expos, Build conferences, App Summits etc. not to network and party but to make sure they are seeing all viewpoints of technology, evaluated by experts, trainers and where possible industry recognized MVP or equivalent technology provider accreditation.

Leveraging the knowledge of experts and educators is now a prerequisite skill for a Solutions or Cloud architect. The old days of Silos and Ivory towers are gone, if your IT department is still “we know best and we control everything” then you will have problems sooner or later. A change Organisation will have teams saying “We are always learning” and “let me find that out from some experts”. There is simply no way any one role can obtain and retain all the changes and impacts of all technologies in a virtual infrastructure. Specialists not generalists and a real team effort is what modern IT in a Change Organisation looks like.

Infrastructure – Build or Buy

The benefits of cloud based tools is that they are designed to leverage a connectable and flexible virtual infrastructure. If you were today, to try and deliver into your organisation an equivalent Office 365 infrastructure for instance you would spend a great deal of time, resource and money and you’d still be a long way behind whats available to buy off the shelf.

I see many organisations with Cloud brand X mail and Cloud Brand Y HR with Band Z document management solutions in place with infrastructure tied phone extension apps on top for chat and IM style comms. While the users “get what they asked for” the business is jumping down a rabbit hole of infrastructure support, dependencies and knowledge issues.

You will always want third party apps – I’m not suggesting otherwise, but your core infrastructure to connect the dots does not have to be fragmented. The underlying platform infrastructure is the one thing IT need to make sure is in place and suits the organisation. Understanding what this is, how it flex’s and where its going are the questions that IT within a Change Organisations can easily answer.

If its just about the bottom line for you then the cost saving research has not been done, a Forester report commissioned by Microsoft found huge savings can be achieved by leveraging the tools you get within their modern infrastructure – and that is key, you must understand what you have to best leverage it ;

Understanding that infrastructure like office 365 is available and that your competitors will simply go and buy it, I challenge you to stop focusing on sweating the assets you bought in the last 5 years and focus on the competitive advantage lost if your tools are not understood for your organisation.

This leads me on to “Understand People” – the advent and growth to over 20 Million active users a day on Microsoft Teams is very telling about what users need – but let’s discuss that in the next post “Part 2 – Understanding People”

Thanks for listening – don’t forget to leave comments below or get in touch with me directly if you’d like to chat about the content posted here or anything to do with the Power Platform – I’m a Business Applications speaker and evangelist with a clear focus on delivering real business value from technology. I speak at least once a month so please find me at an event and #LetsGetCoffee

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