Transformative IT strategy: get your team focused on business growth

Gavin Alexander 

Principal Solution Architect, Versent

November 24, 2021

We’ve all heard the phrase every organisation must think like a technology company. The traditional custodial role of IT teams remains a priority, but they’re increasingly asked how they can help drive value creation, improve customer experience, and provide capabilities that promote innovation.     

How do high performing companies view IT?         

Market-leading enterprises have IT strategies closely aligned to their business objectives, with shared accountability and KPIs. They focus more on IT as a value creation centre than a cost and couple that with an integrated innovation strategy to ensure that they’re constantly evolving.   

Leading companies embrace modern delivery and management practices such as agile, DevOps and continuous delivery. These practices demand fundamental changes to organisational structure, bringing technology and the broader business closer together; delivering iterative value with an emphasis on experimentation.    

Another characteristic common to high performing organisations is the adoption of commoditised cloud-based services, IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS, that enable accelerated digital transformation.     

The expense and effort required to host, manage, and operate on-premises infrastructure can be put to better use by adopting managed cloud services. And, because they’re consumption-based – meaning you only pay for what you use – cloud services minimise the impact of failed experiments and reduce capital expense.  

Cloud providers like AWS continually add new services that allow businesses to offer new capabilities and accelerate innovation more easily.  Amazon Connect and AWS’s suite of artificial intelligence and machine learning services are excellent examples. Without deep technical expertise, significant effort, and investment, these services would have been previously out of reach for most organisations. They’re now available as a commodity service, allowing teams to use them without having to figure out how to deploy and manage them.  

For all the above reasons, cloud adoption helps organisations resist disruptive market pressures and can even help them become the disruptors in their industries. The way cloud-native companies like Netflix, Uber, Menulog, and Airbnb have dominated their industries are resounding examples of cloud technology’s power to bestow a competitive advantage.     

Airbnb’s disruptive cloud strategy         

Airbnb is one of the early cloud adoption success stories, having migrated most of its operation to Amazon Web Services (AWS) soon after launching.          

Talking about his company’s tech strategy, Airbnb co-founder Nathan Blecharczyk has commented:          

“Initially, the appeal of AWS was the ease of managing and customising the stack. It was great to be able to ramp up more servers without having to contact anyone and without having minimum usage commitments. As our company continued to grow, so did our reliance on the AWS cloud, and now, we’ve adopted almost all of the features AWS provides.”             

Airbnb’s pursuit of greater cloud automation and efficiency is motivated by the need to keep its internal IT team closely focused on product innovation. Airbnb’s status as a market leader stems from its relentless innovation and creativity. They don’t want their tech people  – skilled engineers and developers who know their business from the inside out – wasting their time doing day-to-day system maintenance.    

Get focussed on IT productivity         

Forward-looking companies, such as Airbnb, have realised that their IT people’s real value lies in understanding business objectives and steering their technological future.  IT specialists should be at the core of every growth team, translating business data into actionable insights and new products.   

Clearly, there’s a need to alleviate the burden of platform maintenance so that IT teams can focus on growth goals. Companies look to technology consultants to help, but traditional IT outsourcing models don’t support software delivery best practices or nurture collaborative team culture. A better option is to create an integrated relationship with a dedicated partner who will enable agile DevOps and continuous delivery. This arrangement allows your internal IT team to take on a new productive role, where they can use their expert skillset and knowledge of the business to drive targeted innovation.            

Selecting a technology partner is a vital strategic step for any organisation serious about IT optimisation. So, what should you look for in such a partner? The key criteria are solid experience and a strategic transformation approach that starts with your enterprise’s specific needs.    

Rest & Versent: a successful cloud transformation partnership    

Rest is one of the largest superannuation providers in Australia, with two million members and over $57 billion in funds under management.    

When Rest needed to accomplish a rapid cloud transformation in 2020, Versent was engaged to pilot the project. Covid-19 motivated Rest to move quickly to a cloud-based platform – Amazon Connect – so Versent delivered a solution leveraging AWS native services and built on an Enterprise Native Cloud (ENC) platform.    

Talking about the Versent partnership, Simon Smith – Rest’s General Manager Technology – said:  

“The ability to work from home has been the biggest benefit to our teams. With the shut-down of our offices due to COVID-19, and financial markets playing havoc with our customers’ portfolios, being able to continue providing financial advice to them was critical. Versent got us there, and quickly.”     

“Versent were acutely aware of the timely nature of this project. As such, they pulled out all stops and created a temporary Amazon Connect solution in a single week. This rapid deployment enabled us to vacate our Advice team from our office, with zero interruption to our customer services… Versent accurately articulated and documented our needs, and built a complete solution for us.”    

You can read the full case study of Versent’s work with Rest on our customer stories page.     

Start your transformation with confidence    

Your IT team should be creating value, not struggling to maintain outdated infrastructure. Forge a transformation partnership that will enable your IT team to do what they do best; build value for your business.   

Versent’s clients rely on us to uplift and solidify their platforms because we take the time to understand their specific goals. As a holistic technology partner, we deliver solutions for cloud adoption, data optimisation, digital experience and cybersecurity. Because of this meticulous, comprehensive approach, Versent has built strong relationships with high-profile clients such as Boral, Rest, Woodside, John Holland, and many others across diverse industries.   

Before you embark on your transformation journey, talk to us and map out your road to success.    

Want to know more about cloud transformation with an industry-leading partner?   
Talk to an expert Versent advisor. 


Great Tech-Spectations

Great Tech-Spectations

The Versent & AWS Great Tech-Spectations report explores how Aussies feel about tech in their everyday lives and how it measures up to expectations. Download the report now for a blueprint on how to meet consumer’s growing demands.