Juha Kauhanen
Mar 4, 2015

Scalable and Agile IT Operating Model - How to stay competitive in the connected world


Ideas and syntheses in this article have been influenced reading past and current public thought leadership and observations and conclusions formed working with colleagues and clients. I find myself inspired by the idea of transcending corporate cultures and ways of working towards more and more democratic and transparent ways of working, away from patterns rooted in industrial era thinking.

A particular note of appreciation goes to Juha Huovinen, founder and Chairman of the Board of Sofigate, for creating the IT Operating model framework which serves as a background for the views and ideas presented in this article.  The ideas and suggestions presented here are personal points-of-views.


Summary of key points

To harness the opportunities digitalization offers for value creation and capture, companies should:

  • See the whole and the interconnections of the elements of your IT operating model with a simple enterprise architecture framework that is easy to understand and adopt by everyone and use by both business and IT in their everyday communication
  • Look outside the borders of their internal IT departments for depth and breadth of skills, past the usual and common outsourcing models, and aiming for deeper partnership-matrixes where results are measured up at a partnership level
  • Foster a gradual shift toward agile and lean business-IT development culture, while ensuring coordination and consolidation of assets for clarity, simplicity and predictability



Modern IT operating models need agile and scalable. They need to provide the business with on-demand services both quickly and reliably. Services provided need to be fit-for-purpose and cost efficient, requiring a coordinated and consolidated approach to competency and asset management.

My recent article (https://juha.em87.io/article/business-it-operating-model-4-0-surf-the-digitalization-wave/), laid out certain current imperatives and requirements for a modern IT-business operating model. The article also described fundamental elements of an effective IT operating model and suggested thoughts on how to organize and develop IT operating model capabilities required in the digital economy.

This article is a follow up, focusing on three interrelated core aspects of a modern IT operating model that anticipates and responds to the challenges and opportunities of the connected digital economy:

·     Seeing the whole, predicting the future and learning from the past,

·     Breaking free from rigid value creation patterns, and

·     Balancing coordination and agility.

Companies are increasing digitalization of their value creating assets to reduce their costs, improve productivity and produce new, innovative services. Regardless of the industry – manufacturing, resources, finance and retail to public administration and healthcare – enterprises are, or should be, heavily investing in efforts in assessing and implementing ways to digitalize their business operating models. This includes their internal development and operating processes and external delivery channels.

Organizations should be looking for ways to increase speed and agility of their digital operations with best fitting partners. The goals of cooperation should be the ability to offer better products and services in a more convenient and customizable ways, and the ability to reduce overall operating costs. Digitalization has the required economies of scale built-in for both increased value creation capability and reduced costs of operations.

Please read the full article here:




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