Lean technology provides a way forward for IT functions challenged by increasingly complex demands and struggling to satisfy management and customer expectations.
Current pressures on IT include:
- increased automation to support business productivity
- accelerating digitisation of business activities
- massive system upgrades to support regulatory change
- evolving social media and mobile platforms
- pursuit of insights derived from 'Big Data'
- integrating legacy systems into new platforms
- increasingly complex relationships involving multiple technology vendors and outsource providers
- lack of clarity around the measurementof IT performance and the true return on technology investments.
In a rapidly changing environment, it is a challenge for business owners to develop and maintain a true understanding of customer wants and in some cases, they miss the mark. Lean technology will use process simplification, innovation and strategic alignment to draw your organisation closer to the customer; allowing you to truly understand customers, develop market-leading insights and stay ahead of the pack.
Strategic alignment (and deployment) seeks to align and cascade the strategic objectives of an organisation down from the CEO to every employee. Traditionally the process often stalls about two or three floors below the executive suite, so senior leadership must be prepared to drive the change into every nook and cranny in the organisation.
Bringing new products and services to market such as the latest mobile payments device, or a new wealth dashboard can take an extraordinarily long time and fail to deliver the intended value just because of misalignment of silos in the organisation. Getting these aligned up front with the same priorities and success criteria is a sure-fire way to beat the competition.
While many organisations seek to innovate, few are genuinely successful at it. Effective innovation starts with an understanding of how the needs of customers and other business stakeholders should be integrated into the design, development and testing of IT products and services. Closing the expectation gap between the business, customers and the IT function is the overriding objective.
Financial organisations that truly understand the broader needs, challenges and aspirations of their customers, and use this information to deliver the right features through the right channels, are much more likely to have higher up-take of their tech-enabled solutions and have wasted less cash and time on the wrong solutions.
Simplifying IT activities frees up people to work on value-adding strategic products and services. In a lean context, simplification involves the use of visual management tools, identifying waste and removing obstacles to the free flow of processes.
This explanation scratches the surface of lean technology and its potential to create value. Please contact us if you would like to discuss in more detail how lean technology concepts can be applied to your business. KPMG has demonstrated the benefits of lean technology concepts at a number of financial services organisations to date.
Doing just what’s needed to deliver value to customers is all it takes to be efficient. Sounds easy, but is often not done. We’re certainly not advocating throwing out rigour around technology development, but we are suggesting there will be steps in your current processes that do nothing more than waste time and money. Ask yourselves how much quicker and cheaper could we deliver solutions if we simplified what we’re doing?