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IT Transformation: It’s Time for a New Mental Model

by Tony Scott, CIO VMware TonyScott-crop

Back in the early days of automobile development, the first engineers used terms like “horseless carriage” or “steam wagon” to describe their inventions. These monikers worked because people could relate the new-fangled machines to what they were accustomed to using. The concept fit their mental model. Of course, those new machines represented a revolution in the industry that caused a radical shift in the world of transportation. We have the same type of radical shift going on in business today. There is an opportunity for IT to take a leadership position to drive business forward, but we’re still operating under the old mental model of what IT represents.

According to a recent InformationWeek survey, 34 percent of IT executives plan to create new business models and revenue streams. That’s a great sign of forward thinking. With technology permeating the boundaries of all business units, the model must become one of integration.

Here at VMware, we already support an integrated IT model, embedding business relationship managers from IT within all our lines of business. These managers hold the responsibility for driving business success and enabling enterprise innovation. The only way they can do that is to be an integral part of the organizations they represent. This way, IT can lead with the business by truly enabling business success and driving technology solutions that focus on business outcomes.

Back to the mental model – we need to be thinking about IT in terms of concept cars, not horseless carriages. In the next few years, IT will become something we’ve never seen before, and that change will propel us into the future of business.

9 thoughts on “IT Transformation: It’s Time for a New Mental Model

  1. Todd O

    TRUE. IT leadership needs to mae a mind shift, but I think business Units also need to embrace IT as a PART of their organization, not just who they go to for “stuff” to make it work.

  2. Ankit Mehta (@ankitmehta)

    Technology is evolving day by day and as far as I know there is a lot of development in mental model.

    Lets take VMware for eg. years back there was no Virtulization layer existed, VMware created it and again when the need arised there was an innovation in network virtualization.

    I would love to know How VMware is taking its step forward in Network Virtualization and integration to attain projected revenue stream.

  3. mpagaduan323

    IT demands is high and this means requirements for a much efficient to provide products and service will also increase, in such away that continuity for products and service to continue will also be required, thus planning ahead in IT is also an essential part of business.

  4. wong boon hong

    Agreed. Businesses need to see IT not just as a cost center that support their business operation, but embrace IT as part of their business operation that enhance productivity, drive innovation and increase revenue.

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  6. Erik

    I agree that CxOs should change their thinking and see IT as an enabler to achieve their business goals. The problem however is that most CxOs maintain to see IT as a cost center. Even VMware use/business cases cannot change their minds. They’re either colored by VMware, not for their type of business, too large for European sized companies (US SMB = European Enterprise) or any other excuse they can think of.
    How do you think we can change their minds? POCs? Architecture roadmap which is aligned with long term IT strategy? Any ideas?

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  8. Steve

    IT definitely need to be integrated in the business planning and operations right from the start so that we can be an enabler and not be seen as a roadblock that must be overcome

    1. Tony Scott

      Steve – IT definitely needs to be integrated in the business planning and operations right from the start so that we can be an enabler and not be seen as a roadblock that must be overcome.


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