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Top 10 questions about digitalisation a Management Team should ask its IT department


The digital era is upon us and at the same time as it present many organizations of today with challenges, it also gives us a lot of opportunities. To be successful with digitalisation you will require a business and IT organization that plays well together, interoperates seamlessly and work towards joint targets. With this in place you have the foundation to be digitally successful. This is easy to say, but harder to achieve. We took the liberty to play with a scenario where we believe that your organisation would be successful.

The top 10 questions a Management Team should ask its IT department – and the answers you would want!

To be successful in the digital era, your business will be reliant on your IT capabilities. This is why business and IT will have to play very well together. Here we give you a few examples of answers that you would like in an IRL-situation.

1. Is our IT organization well acquainted with our Business Strategy and Digital Targets?

Yes, the digital strategy and objectives are well defined and communicated. We know exactly how we should prioritize and act to achieve these targets. We have also made sure that IT has sufficient budget to do necessary investments in platforms and capabilities. 

2. Is our Digital strategy in line with our Business Strategy?

Yes, the objectives and targets set in the Digital Strategy are aligned to strengthen our competitiveness and we will make sure that we have the platforms, methods and organisation to deliver on them. If targets change or new competition appears, we will be able to turn around as our planning is truly agile. 

3. The digital era will require us to quickly respond to challenges and opportunities – is IT prepared for rapid changes in business requirements?

Yes, we have modified our organisation to be truly agile and we are interoperating today as an integral part of the business organisation. IT and business exchange ideas and work together to achieve business goals. 

4. Digitalization will require interoperating and exchanging data with business partners or the public in an efficient way – does IT have a strategy for this?

Yes, we have a strategy and it is implemented. We are GDPR compliant and guidelines for how to make use and sometime restrict data use and access are implemented and well communicated in an information security policy. For internal (and to some extent external usage), we have an API strategy and platform in place to unlock data and information for innovation. 

5. We must be able to handle and process more data in order to efficiently make business decisions – does IT have a strategy for this?

Yes, we are currently making data available through APIs and the responsibility for data exchange/APIs have been pushed to system owners. This unlocks data and give responsibility to the right part of the organisation. We have already started to investigate and test new phenomena, such as Linked Data and new ways to efficiently analyse and make use of our data. 

6. We expect an increase in data and traffic. Does IT have a scaling strategy that can handle the extra load or peaks at a decent cost?

Yes, we have a strategy to make use of both our internal capabilities and platforms, as well as external cloud environments for efficient scaling. We have a monitoring tool in place to optimize capability and cost for the infrastructure. 

7. To be successful in the digital world, we need systems that can exchange information in an efficient manner – does IT have an integration strategy in place that includes potentially giving external parties access to our internal systems?

Oh yes, this was our first step in the process. We have an API strategy with related platform and organisation in place. The responsibility for APIs and data exchange have been pushed to system owners. 

8. Exposing internal systems or data creates a potential security risk – does IT have a strategy or methodology to ensure that our IT systems and data are safe?

Yes – we have an information security policy in place and the whole organisation knows how to adhere to this and their role in information security. 

9. My CxO friends say that APIs can be used not only to exchange information with partners, but also to generate new business opportunities – do we have an API strategy?

Yes – it is in place and the business have already started using the capabilities of the API platform to identify new business opportunities and increased cooperation with partners (both internally and externally). 

10. To be able to make well informed decisions in a world that is rapidly changing, we need our IT systems to provide us with accurate metrics to make the right decisions – are our IT systems prepared for this and do they deliver accurate data?

Yes, they deliver accurate data and information. The challenge is to make efficient use of, but there is already several projects ongoing where the business and IT are cooperating to find the best use of the now easily accessible data. 

We realize that not many organisations of today have reached this level of maturity, but we thought it could be mind tickling to give you an example on what to strive for…;-)

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Written by Fredrik Svensson