New Operating Models for Enlightened Boards

By Hotze Zijlstra

New Operating Models for Enlightened Boards

After a short and sunny coffee break Alan Nance and Carl Freeman of Virtual Clarity shared their observations around the changing aspirations of the boards of enterprise organisations towards their business models.

According to Nance and Freeman, enlightened boards realise that, “You don’t need a digital strategy, you need a strategy for the digital age.” Increasingly, this means changing the business model, infusing it with new capabilities, enabled by technology.

“These technologies bear little resemblance to the world of enterprise IT we have known for 20 years,” former ING and Philips technology leader Nance stated. “Enterprise IT is a thing of the past but not necessarily a part of the future.” All benefits to the business will come not from the technology itself but through the changes to the operating model.

“CIOs have a unique opportunity to lead operating model changes that will enable the digital services for the enterprise in new ways,” added Freeman, who has a impressive track record of spearheading complex transformations within the financial industry.

The old world is about control and protection of internal systems. The new world is the connected economy with access to external systems of scale. New enterprises are chains of different technology platforms with a central, underlying control plane. Nance said, “We move from optimised supply chains to flexible ecosystems. This will enable you to adapt to the speed of the market, which is necessary because the half-life of products shortens dramatically.”

Governance and also architecture should ultimately be supportive to agility and a corresponding operating model.

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