How to create value with modern IT

In the modern business environment, the digitalisation of business architecture has led to a situation where successful IT operations are the major success factor in the market. IT is no longer a support function for the business; it is an equal partner in business decisions.

Aalto Startup Center’s keynote speaker Ossi Lerto answers questions such as how to deliver business value and what are the typical capabilities in an IT architecture. Lerto is a digital business advisor, a digital change agent with over 20 years of experience in IT system development as well as building digital capabilities in organisations. He helps technology to understand the business.

Lerto speaks about IT architecture and how it has principles, levels and delivery.

– Technology is in the organisation and the organisation operates in the market. A system must have an aim and a business purpose, explains Lerto.

When talking about IT and technology, the level of discussion varies. On the conceptual level, you think about the conceptual design, customer journeys and process maps. The question you ask is why. On the logical level, you fill the gap between conceptual information model and physical data model. The focus is on the technology independent design, data modelling and process management. It gives answers to what we are doing. Then, finally, on the physical level, the discussion is about the technology dependent database and implementation and it answers the question how.

How to survive in the modern business environment with different levels of discussion? And more importantly, how to deliver business value?

– Identify active capabilities which are missing from the organisation to match or evolve it. Beware of the competition in the market, says Lerto in sharing some of his learnings.

– Technology is for the business. If you can’t design it, study the context and learn more about the problem.

Lerto suggests learning from competitors and building technology that customers want.

– It’s very important to stay relevant to the customers and grow your business model, says Lerto.

He says that the architecture framework will guide when developing IT.

– It provides definition for the deliverables and description of the method for how the architecture work should be done, says Lerto.

The rules of the game have changed

In the last 15 years, 52% of Fortune 500 companies have disappeared. The modern business environment requires IT to survive. Digitalisation has forced many companies to adopt new business models: knowledge workers and data resources have become the most valuable asset for organisations in the current business environment. Control and efficiency have stepped aside in the background while the focus is now on adaptation, creativity and competence.

– Consumers and companies have equal access to tools and knowledge, the market is cheaper and faster, Lerto reminds.

The new business environment has challenged also product development: continuous innovation is the new normal. MVP (minimal viable product) is a great way to test your solution and learn how to build and develop your next iteration round.

– Speed of learning is the unfair advantage of our time. The business model is the product we are developing, not the plan, explains Lerto.

For systemised and continuous innovation, ask the right questions. Lead the disruption or be disrupted.

– Are we getting the results? Are we running the right processes? Are we using the tools and mindset?

Build all capabilities in a way they can be offered to customers if needed. Invest in speed accuracy and collaboration in delivery.

– If you can measure it, you can manage it.


Ossi Lerto