I have held regional and global leadership roles at SoftBank Robotics, Deloitte, Fast Retailing, Woven Planet, and Abercrombie and Fitch. I have more than 20 years of experience in IT across a diverse set of industries (e.g. retail, fashion, technology, robotics, pharma/biotech, and manufacturing). I have deep knowledge and experience in the retail/fashion industry and have spent more than 15 years in regional and global roles working in Asia, Europe, and the US.
I advise IT leaders and C-suite executives in the areas of
- IT strategy, IT risks and opportunities, and business-aligned IT roadmaps
- Organizational design and staff augmentation strategies
- IT M&A Strategy and Integration
- Program management and Change Management
- Assessment and selection of technology solutions and systems
- Vendor management strategy and vendor resource optimization
- International expansion and market entry strategies and tactics for scaling IT organizations
An IT Strategy and the Framework for Success
Developing the “right” IT strategy is essential to your company’s success. Whether you’re a technology company, manufacturer, or retailer, it’s all the same. Technology supports and enables critical functions of your business and you must have, not only the right IT strategy in place, but also the right IT foundation (e.g. people, processes, and technology) and the right partnership between IT and the business leadership team.
Companies often have a great team of IT professionals, but sometimes lack a strong IT visionary and strategic leader at the helm. The leader will impact the mindset of the organization and it will be one of maintenance and a provider of services as opposed to an organization of innovation. Your systems will become to age, frustrations will be expressed by your business users and community, and IT will become a four-letter word. Sound familiar?
IT leadership, strategy, and a solid IT foundation (people, process, and technology) is essential for the IT team’s success, and frankly, the business’ success overall. Your IT leader must be equal parts technologist and strategist, possess strong business acumen skills, and be an excellent communicator in the language of business and IT. An IT organization without a strong strategic leader and trusted partner to the business, will result in outdated systems and an IT team in maintenance mode with low morale and an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality.
Retaining high caliber employees will be impossible (as will recruiting them), team morale will be low, as they are stuck in a constant state of firefighting and dealing with legacy systems that slow down your business operations and hinders your team’s capabilities to deliver innovative solutions and value to the business. Your IT team is stuck maintaining and surviving instead of gaining new skills on new technologies and enabling your business. It’s a lose-lose for everyone involved.
How I can help
I’ve helped companies transform their IT organizations at various stages of growth, as well as, optimize and standardize their IT systems and solutions. Over the years, I have helped companies clean up, what I call “Frankenstein” IT systems/environments. Projects and initiatives that started off as good ideas, but due to a lack of IT strategy, vision, and business alignment, they quickly spiral out of control, and into expensive, underutilized, and overly complicated IT solutions and environments. They are now just another headache to manage and something that consumes resources and your team away from the things that matter to the business.
By conducting IT planning/roadmap, risks and opportunities, and IT strategy/visioning workshops, I assist companies, business leaders, and IT organizations by defining and designing an IT strategy and action plan that is aligned with the company’s goals, objectives, and business growth plans. I do this through a process of first understanding the business needs/objectives and then assessing the IT organizations’ capabilities, gaps, and strengths. I utilize many of the techniques and frameworks learned and used over the years as a consultant and as an internal IT leader. Such as the strategy framework of OGSM (Objectives, Goals, Strategies, and Measures), which I regularly use to help IT teams focus on what’s important, what we need to solve, and how we need to solve it.
Once a solid strategy is in place, then the focus is shifted to executing the plan. This is often where IT teams struggle, as it will depend on how well the IT leadership team is able to recruit, coach, and develop existing IT talent, properly hire and manage IT partners, and retire/upgrade/implement the appropriate IT solutions and systems required to achieve transformation and successful delivery of business objectives and goals.
Whether you need assistance developing the plan or simply need help executing it, I can help you identify any processes, inefficiencies, or roadblocks that are hindering your progress/success.
Change management and project management is also a critical function of IT that supports all of the above. And unfortunately, more often than not, IT organizations are often lacking strong change leaders and experienced project managers. In some organizations, they lack a PMO completely, and fully outsource to an external partner. This is usually a recipe for disaster. Most growing companies and developing IT organizations also simply lack a structured approach to project management and change management. In other words, there is no clearly defined and agreed-upon methodology. Without experienced change leaders, project managers, and defined processes, failure is inevitable. A new IT system may go live, but that project/initiative will most likely be over budget and underdelivered. Your IT organization will not be viewed as a trusted partner to the business and/or your business users may even abandon the newly released solution and seek out another solution on their own. And there begins…the Frankenstein IT system.
If you are interested to hear more about how I can help your team, business, and organization, please reach out to me through my contact form here, or use the chatbox in the bottom right corner of this page. I look forward to hearing from you!