In today’s consumer-dominated business world–where CIOs look to deliver “Apple-simple” office tools requiring no training–simplicity has become a code word for speed, flexibility, agility and success.
“This is about killing complexity. As you do, you get faster,” says CIO Charlene Begley of General Electric, one of the IT leaders interviewed recently. “It’s about competitiveness.” Simplifying IT operations and processes is one of Begley’s four strategic imperatives for IT, as she strives to halve the number of GE data centres and lop out 85 percent of its ERP systems by 2016.
Yes, millions. When researchers at The Hackett Group compared high-performing companies to average ones, they noticed that the typical firms were running twice as many data centers as the world-class ones, which also run fewer applications and at lower cost.
At FedEx, complexity reduction is “the largest theme we’re working on,” says Kevin Humphries, senior vice-president of IT. He recently opened a new data center that will serve as the US$39 billion company’s main IT facility, even though it’s one-third the size of the one it replaces. “You would be shocked to see the walls and walls and walls of excruciating detail to make something very complex end up simplified,” Humphries told us.
As desirable as IT simplification sounds, such efforts often fail–and ironically, it’s because they lack detailed (that is, sufficiently complex) plans. How are you dealing with the complexity of simplicity at your company these days?
(From CIO Magazine)