Expert in digital transformation, Michaël Tartar underlines the divergence of life cycles that can oppose IT production and the digitalization of the company. However, there is nothing irreconcilable about it, says the manager, who recommends freeing up time for production teams to actively participate in the digital transformation project.
Michaël Tartar – Co-author of the book ” Digital transformation: 5 levers for the company “.
Why is it so often difficult to reconcile digital transformation and IT production?
By definition, production operates on what is already done and not on what is to be done. It ensures the smooth day-to-day operation of the information system, in particular by maintaining a certain level of performance and availability for the business applications. As a result, production teams tend to hold back on any change, whether it’s an architectural change, such as a migration to the cloud, or an application change, such as ERP integration.
For their part, the teams in charge of development are entrusted by the IT department with the task of upgrading the existing system, with a more or less brutal break, depending on the schedule set by management. Development and production therefore have objectives that may appear to be opposed, or even difficult to reconcile, which can be a source of friction or even conflict.
Moreover, they work on different life cycles. The project teams are in the conceptual, the reflection, the creation of novelties… Their relationship to time is therefore rather on the long term. For its part, the production is working on the daily routine. His task remains to ensure that the IS is accessible every day. This divergence in the relationship to time can also be a source of difficulties.
In the field, have you seen a certain sidelining of production in digital transformation projects?
Yes, this is recurrent, regardless of the sector or the size of the company. Most often, it starts with a digital transformation project decided by the general management and elaborated with the IT department, without any consultation of the production. In many cases, it is totally excluded from the discussions, at least in the early stages when the project is outlined.
This is not necessarily because of a lack of consideration for what the production could bring to the project. Often, the general management and the IT department simply prefer not to disturb their daily work, which is already a heavy and complex burden, punctuated daily by numerous processes to be processed quickly.
On the other hand, the production team sometimes struggles to get its head out of the sand and may be reluctant to participate in a long-term, time-consuming project. She then puts herself aside.
What are the consequences of this non-participation of the production?
This can cause the digital transformation project to slow down as it moves from theory to practice. In some cases, we can even deplore a complete blockage of the project, because technical problems, not taken into account upstream, turn out to be a real headache to solve.
This can be quite serious, as a digital transformation project must be relatively short. At least, it must be marked by concrete steps that will quickly bring benefits to the company. If the project gets bogged down, the digital evolutions that are supposed to improve performance or develop the company’s business may simply be outdated or arrive too late on the market.
What do you recommend to avoid this situation?
I’m going to preach a little bit for my parish and recommend using solutions like ROK Solution, which allow to model, pilot and control processes in SaaS mode. This will greatly simplify the development and integration of new services into the IS and thus facilitate a digital transformation project.
More generally, it is of course necessary to involve production from the beginning of the project. It’s up to the branch to get him involved. And in order for production to be a force of proposal, it must be regularly freed up so that it can step back and monitor the situation. In all cases, close and regular collaboration between the IT department, the management
This is the only way to ensure the success of a digital transformation project.