Steven De Haes on Digital Transformation and IT Governance



My name is Steven De Haes. I'm a professor
at Antwerp Management School. And as Academic Director,
I lead all the research and educational programs
around digital transformation. In all our research
and educational programs, we want to bring together,
on the one hand, the state-of-the-art knowledge,
from science, and on the other hand,
what it means in practice. What we see in organizations, is that they are investing
more and more in technology. Organizations have
a specific reason for doing that. They invest in information technology,
in digital transformation, because they expect to achieve
a specific business value. The challenge however is that, we see that organizations
are investing more in technology, but in the end, what we also observe, is that many business people
are frustrated about the benefits not being achieved. I'm going to draw
the next construct here. The key question is
not to invest more in technology, but do we as an organization
have the capability to make the right investments
in technology, close to our strategy
and current or future operating model. And that's what we call
the alignment challenge. Are we capable of integrating
our business strategies with our IT strategies, also in line with the current and future
operating model of the organization? So the question is: how can we, as an organization,
realize this level of integration, fusion between business and IT? Unfortunately,
it does not happen by itself, which means you have to
organize yourself around your strategy. And there comes my final element
in the theory. We have to seek a way to organize ourselves
around digital assets, that will allow us to come to
an integrated business and IT strategy, – you could call that
the digital strategy – which in turn will lead to
value creation for the organization. The concept
on the left-hand side is called, in practice, IT governance or governance
around the digital assets. The key point here is that,
depending on your strategy, or the expected value
out of digital transformation, you have to
organize yourself accordingly. If you organize this governance
around the digital assets in line with your strategy, you will have a much higher likelihood
that your digital transformation journey will be successful and you will
achieve the expected benefits for all your stakeholders. This type of model, where we
bring together theory and practice, are used to build
our Executive Master Programs.

Maurice Vega

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