Seven reasons why IT is always complex, expensive, and time-consuming

It's rarely just one party's fault when a conflict arises. The same could be said about why digitization takes so long for Swedish companies. Obstacles and problems exist in all departments within organizations, but by identifying the root causes of the problem, it is possible to build constructive and profitable paths going forward.

Here are seven reasons why the IT perspective is often overlooked when companies lay out their business strategies.

1. The old perspective on IT

For many companies, IT is still considered "just" a support process to the business instead of the primary business process. This attitude results in companies buying system after system to digitize the business, leading to an unmanageable IT chaos that no one understands except the IT department. That's also where the knowledge stops and why management doesn't know why they must make IT the core of the business.

2. The old perspective on the economy function

The finance department has too much power in all Swedish companies. Accounting should be a biproduct of the business, not the other way around. Functioning IT, on the other hand, is a prerequisite for business.

3. The old perspective on ERPs

A common perception is that businesses are controlled by niche software that together creates the unique business that is your bread and butter. This misconception costs companies a lot of money. Decentralizing master data on different levels creates an unnecessarily high-cost mass while the entire operation becomes just as unduly complex and difficult to understand. An enterprise resource planning system (ERP) is a summary of the business, not the business itself.

4. The old perspective on system procurement

New systems are not automatically suitable investments - it's not just a matter of "installing and running". Buying a new system always means that you want to change how something that creates value is carried out. Since organizations rarely get support in the changes, the result is a painful and expensive effort to make the new system emulate the old processes and the way it worked in the past. Without proper anchoring in both business and organization, a new system will only create new problems.

5. The old perspective on organization

If the IT structure's process map is not the foundation for an organizational change, the business will only be affected cosmetically, with managerial changes and more work for the HR department. The result is often endless adaptations with massive costs without any added efficiency or value to the company other than possibly a prestige win for a manager or department. The organization must support the process, not the other way around.

6. The old perspective on IT strategy

IT becomes an obstacle when it is not part of the business strategy. Knowing how IT supports the business plan is key to effectively changing and scaling a business. Almost everything in a business today is based on digital data. Still, management often ignores this fact and instead sets up a separate digitization strategy, resulting in a fragmented focus for the company.

7. The old perspective on business management

Managers and boards often lack a commitment to IT matters mainly due to a lack of competence in the field. In addition, CIOs often cannot look beyond the technology and explain – from a business perspective – what IT can achieve regarding business development, business security, scalability, or cost optimization.