My premise is that firms achieve growth through the use of information technology to scale their business processes more effectively than their competitors. So how do we measure the strength of a firms IT capability?
I use an “IT Scorecard,” based on an original framework developed at Microsoft, to measure and track IT capability in five key business functional areas: sales and marketing, finance, operations, empowered professionals, and IT infrastructure.
Typically a firm that does well on the IT Scorecard has a high capacity for business process scalability. That is, their processes tend to be able to scale to meet the needs of a rapidly changing business environment. For example, through good process knowledge and standardisation they can more easily manage the complexities involved in growth; they are able to streamline their operations and achieve grow without significant additions to headcount; they are flexible and able to respond quickly and take advantage of new opportunities and they have good visibility into their critical business processes.
Interestingly, firms that have a high capacity for business process scalability often do not realise that they have this capability. However, results can be off the scale for firms that understand their capabilities and embrace the business process scalability they have developed because they are able to identify the specific process changes needed to drive each business lever and then quickly and efficiently implement those changes in their BPM system.