Buzzy Buzzwords — Business Outcomes

In both technology and business buzzwords are an annually right of activity. From the heady days of GUI to Cloud, Personas and more and more I read and hear Business Outcomes.

With IoT, Cognitive Analytics and Cloud along with the growing list of applications as services delivering business processes business outcomes has gone from just a buzzword to what gets us past the separation of business and technology.

Outcomes (business is redundant) pushes technology professionals to fully understand the direct link technology has the business driving out of the data center, past the help desk and align one on one with how the business actually is successful.

Whether it is

  • Customer acquisition / retention
  • Launching a new product
  • or simply shipping and invoicing

It is a harder conversation to start as we are locked in our old habits of speeds, feeds, storage capacity, security and the dreaded maintenance costs (ugh).

However, do a google search on business outcomes and you will see links from Harvard, Cisco and Forrester.

They will talk about results, desired outcomes and deliverables.

Me I like the simple definition of outcome. A consequence.

You can talk about consequences.

What happens is your business does not add new customers or starts losing others?

What would be the impact on your business if you reduce new product development/launch by half?

How would that improve your customer satisfaction and bottom line if you improved shipping and invoicing to 95% or better?

These are consequences — real, solid consequences that we all can understand and talk about. We have already seen business analyst move out of IT and into the business and vice versa. Transform or evolve this to alignment by consequences for new successes.

Customer acquisition / retention teams or new product launch teams they should have broad cross capability and authority for applications, technology and especially changing processes and roles.

My recommendations to business is identify those in your organization and new hires that have potential for cross-business/technology capability. Anyone with Lean, Six Sigma or Agile development experience (I will argue with you the value of certifications are low compared to actual experience) are nice indicators to look for in people.

Also, anyone who has that annoying habit of pointing out what will go wrong with something. Loath these people, but always want one on my team.

Regardless outcomes are path in one manner to the end of IT, but it is the next step in evolution that is inevitable.