Brands born on the cloud are today’s marketplace disruptors. Universally admired, they can easily pivot to respond to market conditions. Simply put, they are built to win the race in today’s high-speed, service-based, cloud technology-enabled world.

Incumbent companies that are shackled by legacy IT systems (which describes many financial services firms) can be no match for these marketplace disruptors. Speed, flexibility, agility and nimbleness are not words typically associated with legacy IT. Yet investments made in legacy systems are not easily abandoned, and in some case shouldn’t be. The question is, how can incumbents compete with fast-paced, disruptive competitors in our digital world?

While many traditional businesses have attempted to solve this problem by deploying new technology through their existing IT operating model, truly winning in the digital marketplace requires more than simply dropping cloud technology on top of a legacy IT system. The solution to the problem extends beyond the technology itself.

Shifting the IT paradigm

To get the most benefit from today’s cloud-based, anything-as-a-service capabilities, incumbent firms should completely shift their IT paradigm— reengineering their entire IT organization and how the company operates to be flexible, responsive and adaptive under the most intense and demanding market conditions.

What exactly does this mean? Essentially in this context, firms should let go of centralized, command-and-control service delivery and operating practices and instead embrace new, nimble operating models that prioritize experimentation and innovation. In this three-part blog series, I’ll explain how firms can make this paradigm shift.

It all starts with a new mindset. In my next post, I’ll explain how your firm can learn to think like a digital startup.


For more information on reengineering your IT operating model, please see: Reengineering the IT Operating Model to Embrace the Power of the Cloud

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