Lawn Tennis Association IT Strategy Case StudyThe IT strategy and business strategy connection - Lawn Tennis Association
Lawn Tennis Association – The Lawn Tennis Association’s (LTA) mission is to get more people playing tennis more often, and part of its role is to govern tennis in Great Britain, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man by acting as guardians to promote and safeguard the integrity of the sport.
Companies are struggling with the balance between governance, control and stability, as well as the need for greater innovation and flexibility. Conflicting forces are driving complexity.
Regulatory requirements are increasing the demand for greater control and governance while customer demands are accelerating and changing.
IT is caught in the middle – trying to balance stability, control and maintaining operations – and at the same time deliver innovation.
Agile IT organisations are IT organisations that are quick to respond to changing external or internal circumstances and have made the process of change a routine part of their organisational culture.
What Atech delivered
In a constantly evolving environment, it’s essential for any business to have an IT organisation that can adapt quickly when needed.
Engaging with a specialist and experienced solution provider such as Atech provides the ability to respond to frequent changes in customer requirements and develop and deliver new services in shorter cycles.
Atech understands that this can put pressure on the IT organisation, and know it is important to retain operational ability even with reduced development cycles.
Delivering an efficient and value-creating IT strategy is heavily reliant on implementing a disciplined method and framework.
A key obstacle to flexibility and agility when history and legacy create conflict, is often the organisational structure of the IT team and its members. This situation can have a number of outcomes:
- To achieve high performance needs methodology,
alignment of people, processes and underpinning
- Agility & customer specific solutions are essential to
meet the needs of an ever-changing business
- Innovation deserves dedicated resource that
includes competence and input from both inside and
outside the immediate project team.
It is close to impossible to create a plan up-front without involving other internal and external stakeholders such as (but not limited to) users, service owners, potential vendors, application and infrastructure specialists, etc. You may be able to draw the big picture but anyone that has been involved in these kinds of processes knows that understanding the business in detail is essential. The devil is in the details.
Approach and mechanisms for understanding the landscape?
Making IT work, making change stick and delivering real business value are typically the ultimate goals of any IT management /consultancy project that Atech undertakes alongside one of its customer partners.
For the LTA, Atech followed a set of clear rules to engage on this basis:
Providing Audit feedback, Technology Roadmaps and detailed immediate and future recommendations ensure the IT team have reference points, guidelines and industry benchmarking to support their recommendations and strategic ideals at the Board level.
What did the customers really need and how was it communicated
What were the internal LTA customers really suffering with?
Successful IT organisations are focused, base their delivery methods on fundamental capabilities, good at communication and planning, and have the right technical and cultural prerequisites. There is no quick fix or silver-bullet solution. When these qualities are missing, inconsistent or conflicted, the Atech team need to address these fundamentals alongside the client to rebuild the organisation bottom up and top down.
At Atech, our approach is to:
- Start with a good understanding of the client’s business, business model and business context rather than a model or framework, to identify the key trends and drivers affecting IT’s role
- Engage the client and make use of internal expertise. It is critical to include the experience and the visions of the people with the issue at hand, both on management and operational level. Through iterative approaches and a good client/consultant mix we make extensive use of the hands-on experiences of our clients
- Apply agile principles to allow for exploration from strategy formulation to implementation planning. Iterative methods should be used to ensure continuous adaptations and refinements of the transformation
- Be humble when exploring best practices and models and use these as inspiration for the strategy; work to avoid opinionated views on which models or frameworks to apply and when. We use a wide agnostic toolbox, as a means of facilitating the process
- Apply a sound investigation to buzzword concepts and use explorative and iterative approaches to implementation to make sure that the entire landscape of people, processes and technology can manage the change
- Provide a Network and Infrastructure Audit Report along with our recommendations
- IT Roadmaps and Suitability Statements are provided which gives a transparent view
- Consolidation of fragmented infrastructure for better manageability
- Better visibility of core infrastructure
- Clearer strategic alignment to the business needs
- Overall perception of IT with end users significantly improved
- Significantly improved capability of dealing with peak and trough tournament demand
- Increased end-user productivity within a stable infrastructure
Key lessons learnt
There is no correlation between any specific set of methods and the identified or perceived issues. Successful IT organisations focus on the customers’ needs.
They create a truly service-oriented organisation that is supported by the right technical pre-requisites, a well-tailored delivery model, and stringent fit-for-purpose delivery methods.
Most importantly, it is their communication across teams and with their customers and stakeholders that truly sets them apart.