educationtechnologyinsights

Leverage Partner Network to Lessen the Learning Curve

By Donna Benefield, SVP-IT, NRG ENERGY

Donna Benefield, SVP-IT, NRG ENERGY

Alignment to the Business Strategy, Objectives and Priorities

 
Business and IT work together from inception through deployment as one team to define the processes and systems. For example, NRG Engineering and Construction team deployed SharePoint workflow and document management solutions to improve compliance,  communication, document flow, efficiency and effectiveness across large engineering and construction plant projects.
 
"Make sure the application and infrastructure  architects, as well as the technology business leaders, create Technology and Application Strategy Roadmaps—both for the Microsoft technology and for business application priorities"
 
Standards Balanced with Vision
 
Overall company standards enable communication, coordination, and facilitate change while vision provides the long term  roadmap for how products and services can be leveraged. NRG is deploying a standard desktop based on the Microsoft Office  products while leveraging many of the Microsoft cloud  and mobile capabilities to enable both mobile users and internal growth.
 
Skills and Teamwork
 
It isn’t enough to have great technical resources in today’s high growth, rapidly evolving world. Through the Microsoft  Azure, SharePoint, SQL Server, and Office products, we are focusing projects in our IT Roadmap that lead to process,  technology and business outcomes. For example, we leverage internal technical skills in SharePoint to enable rapid M&A  workflow for integration. IT leverages deep SQL Server skills across our business platforms to work seamlessly with our  application and busiess areas to scale across home solutions, business and renewables.
 
Understand Microsoft Products that Work with Business Segments
 
First, understand the Microsoft products and your business. Identify key owners within your team that own the product  architecture(s) and understand the Microsoft products that also work with each of your business segments. Set time aside for  those owners to learn and spend time with the technology and the business processes.
 
Second, make sure your application and infrastructure architects, as well as your technology business leaders, create   Technology and Application Strategy Roadmaps—both for the Microsoft technology and for business application priorities.  Without a clear understanding of both, you won’t successfully deploy solutions and align with the business environment. This  also facilitates communication, prioritization and change management within your organization. It sets you up for success and provides metrics to continuously improve.
 
Last, execute quickly and well, that aligns with your vision. Make sure you implement and deploy it successfully that is  smart capital allocation. Utilize Microsoft Partners and experts where needed to lessen the learning curve and improve speed  to deployment through the right mix of internal training and external resources.

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