Friday, July 29, 2011

IT organizational lifecycle

It just clicked to me when we are analysing a technological company to formulate a strategy, other than the usual tools, a lifecycle analysis can reveal crucial information which we would have missed when sticking to a usual SWOT or a PESTEL.

I see that there are atleast four lifecycles which should be analysed. The organizations life cycle, the industries lifecycle, the technology lifecycle and product's life cycle. The fourth factor is valid in case of a product oriented company or a company which aspires to be one.

Let's assume there is a fictious company which is 2 year old with 15 employees and is developing symbian and blackberry personal time tracking client applications.

step 1: we need to find out which phase the company is in. Above given seems a small start up in its growth phase. Being small, probably indicates that the organization can be agile and adaptable.

Step 2: lifecycle of the industry. The mobile application developement industry is in its growth phase and with the advent of cheaper smart phones it seems it will grow for the foreseeable future, there doesn't seems to be a clear leader of the pack at the moment and a lot of start ups are rushing into share the spoils. The playing fields are relatively flatter than matured industry.

Step 3: analyse the technology life cycle in the industry and the technologies used by the company. For example, Symbian is a technology for which the sun has set, hence the future looks bleak, where as blackberry still has a market but the dominance is between iphone and android.

Step 4: we need to analyse which phase the product is at. There are two approches that can be taken. One is to find the users of the system and find which segment is using it. Whether if its the innovators using it, or is it the early majority, or are we peaking with the majority or are we at the tail end where we are seeing the lagards embracing it slowly. This is called as the chasm model.

The second model is to map and see whether the product is developing, growing, stable, cash cow or sun setting. For example the symbian version is either a cash cow or a sun setting version.

I guess this kind of analysis gives a holistic perpective to understand the battle lines of the organization.

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

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