2 minute read 13 May 2019
Female designer looking computer office desk

How product thinking is at the core of the new IT organization

By

Mazen Baroudi

EY Americas Advisory Technology Transformation Principal, Ernst & Young LLP

Advisor to technology and business leaders. Passionate about technology and business transformation. Strategist, innovator and thought leader.

2 minute read 13 May 2019

A product-centric mindset helps drive value through ways previously unknown or under-utilized.

A product-centric mindset within IT combines conceptual tenets from other IT capabilities such as agile development, service management, IT life cycle management, and from traditionally business driven capabilities such as R&D, product management, and product marketing.

In doing so, it forms something unique — an entrepreneurial, fast-iterating approach to managing IT services and solutions as products from ideation to retirement while addressing the product as a whole.

This enables more robust and targeted feature sets that center on customer needs, facilitate quicker deployment and validation of emerging technologies, and clearly define service and solution ownership and reporting structures.

Developing a new technology product capability within IT

To enable us to explore these ideas further, we recently published a report (pdf) on product thinking. We noted that in today's IT environment, IT services and solutions are commonly funded and delivered on a project-by-project basis and following either a waterfall or an agile-with-phase-gates development process. 

This leads to the all too common problems that are routinely seen in all IT organizations, such as service provider mentality, innovation inhibition, ideas being "thrown over the fence," lack of customer understanding, etc. 

A product-centric mindset in IT enables the value of services and solutions to be continually maximized throughout the various life cycle stages by instilling tenets such as remaining true to your core, being disciplined in retiring legacy, and being relentlessly customer centric.

Companies that undertake the product-thinking journey will see value in the improved perception of IT and will gain a competitive advantage when tackling the challenges of the new digital revolution.

Product thinking solves common digitization and transformation challenges

Instilling and deeply integrating product thinking within IT enables better integration with the business, increased transparency on value and opportunities of technology on the enterprise and customer-centricity — all of which are common stumbling blocks for IT organizations.

Companies that undertake the product-thinking journey will see value in the improved overall perception of IT and will gain a competitive advantage when tackling the challenges of the new digital revolution.

Summary

A product-centric mindset in IT enables the value of services and solutions to be continually maximized throughout the various life cycle stages. Product thinking can solve common digitization and transformation challenges, ultimately, leading to a competitive advantage.

About this article

By

Mazen Baroudi

EY Americas Advisory Technology Transformation Principal, Ernst & Young LLP

Advisor to technology and business leaders. Passionate about technology and business transformation. Strategist, innovator and thought leader.