Digital Dinosaurs, Part II – 11 Disruptive Mutations


Digital Dinosaurs, Part II – 11 Disruptive Mutations

I wrote the Digital Dinosaurs Part I earlier this month. This Part II concentrates on the actual IT attributes and characteristics that make an organization unadaptable. If the corporation has a killer digital strategy, and ideas worth killing for but IT does not enable the digital transformation, disruption will happen.

As I am not a molecular biologist, and I guess most of you readers are not either, I chose to skip the molecular DNA and Gene side of things and concentrate on the outcomes. Like in Enterprise Architecture, it is better to concentrate on the business outcomes than draw theoretical and methodologically flawless diagrams to be stored in your desk drawer that no-one will read. Ever. This is why the following is a list of 11 outcomes that are caused by the 11 disruptive Genes. Each one of them has an individual effect to the living organism, the Corporation, some of them are linked or near to each other, and number 11 is the worst Condition of them all.

However, as writing about Dinosaurs takes a lot of space, I’ll split the list of 11 into two and make this blog series a Trilogy! Here are the first six ones:

1. IT Impact Disorder

IT Impact Disorder causes the corporation to see IT as one-size-fits-all, bulky substance.

Even though there are IT standards, corporate IT is not “standard”. IT is not like electricity out of a socket. MIT’s Erik Brynjolfsson has argued against Nick Carr’s (‘IT Does Not Matter’) poor analogy of IT’s similarity to electrical power utilities: “no regulatory or law enforcement body will audit a company’s electrons.”

There are ways to express the impact of the IT, for example, its range of value: is it mundane, is it strategic, or is it even transformational? Corporations suffering from this disorder may see no difference between migrating a desktop app into a cloud version (mundane), harmonizing master data for eCom initiatives (operational) and embedding IoT-driven predictive analytics in Omni-channel customer experience (strategic). This disorder is almost incurable in corporations where IT is purely finance-driven and always seen as a cost, never generating profit.

2. Bimodal Blindness

Corporations that are Bimodally blind do not see the difference between different modes of IT development and governance.

Gartner coined the term ‘Bimodal IT’ that falls into two Modes, “fast” and “slow”:

Bimodally blind organizations have their left hand doing strict ITIL while their right hand is doing freestyle agile in similar kinds of projects. Or, they use just one of the modes and skip the other one. That’s just crazy!

3. Cloud Allergy

Cloud allergic corporations are reluctant in implementing and utilizing cloud-based solutions and service – just because those opportunities are cloud-based!

Cloud-based infrastructure, platform, and solutions are not used because they are cool but because they generate additional value. Cloud can bring additional value for example in:

According to various sources already in 2014, 50% of global computation happened in the cloud. If you can benefit and create business value by implementing cloud solutions, why should you wait for your competitors to fill the remaining 50%?

4. Speed Apnea

Corporations that have this condition do not value speed either in IT solutions or in different implementation methodologies.

The raw speed of time to market can make a difference in financial results. McKinsey & Co has studied high-tech industry product development: 50% over budget has little impact on overall product profitability while delaying six months eats a third of the profitability.

When it comes to actual IT solutions, speed is of the essence. In enterprise level information systems, in-memory platforms like SAP HANA can make the difference in disrupting the competition with raw speed. And, using accelerator products in projects reduces the implementation time significantly.

Speed Apnea significantly reduces the range of project implementation methodologies available. Agile, Lean, and DevOps are usually not in the repertoire of corporations suffering from Speed Apnea. This condition is often linked to TouRFPette Syndrome (#5) and PMOeumonia (#6).

5. TouRFPette Syndrome

Corporations that are suffering from TouRFPette Syndrome can communicate to the outer world only via RFP’s.

RFP’s are a decent way of acquiring services and solutions that can be clearly scoped, can be easily measured and are offered in a saturated market. This era is supposed to be the time of co-innovation, not co-disruption. Writing extensive RFP’s takes a lot of time, answering to them takes a lot of time and evaluating and ranking the Proposals takes yet again more time

However, corporations suffering from TouRFPette create and send RFP’s for acquiring kinds of services and projects. The corporation is forced to communicate by the involuntary vocalizations – tics as in Tourette –  called RFP’s.

Suffering from Bimodal Blindness (#2) can make this syndrome terminal.

6. PMOeumonia

PMOeumonic corporations cannot see the difference between Programmes, Projects or even individual Change Requests.

A proper Programme Management Office (PMO) has its place as a central point of contact for IT Programme and Project management expertise and resources. However, a PMOeumonic corporation is not able to distinguish non-PMO work from PMO work. Corporations having a very severe case of PMOeumonia run practically everything through a PMO – everything is a “project”.

There is also Nordic – or Finnish in this case – variation of this disease that can be, and usually is, much more severe than the generic PMOeumonia. The Finnish version has the term ‘Hanke’ (Blog in Finnish) embedded into the everyday life of the PMO. Instead of talking about just Programmes and Projects, PMOeumonic Finnish corporations get messed up by bringing in the third term, ‘Hanke’, that is practically non-translatable to non-Finnish speakers because of a wicked cultural twist…


Part III of the Digital Dinosaurs Trilogy including the Conditions 7-11 will be published next week. Stay tuned!

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Blog writer

Janne Vihervuori


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