Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A Multi-Dimensional IT

 A Multi-Dimensional IT Creates Multi-Level Values to Business as a Whole. 


IT suffered from its reputation as a cost center at industrial age, IT leaders need to look harder upon their organizations through multi-dimensional lenses, how to generate business value from IT, and continue to ask those tough questions: Are we doing the right things? – Planning; Are we doing them the right way - Processes, People; Are we getting them done well - Evaluation or Are we getting the benefits? – ROI. Below are five dimensions to look at IT both strategically and tactically, and how to unleash its full potential at the digital era.

Operating Efficiency: Here's traditional IT value, keep the light on at efficient way. It’s still fundamental. Every part of the company should do what it can to gain results while spending the least cost necessary. Sometimes this is difficult in the short-term as you need to create sustainability over time, sometimes a leaping transformation is needed, but overall; IT needs to run like a business, buy what you need, use it to the fullest, and ensure that every dollar spent is used in the best manner possible. This dimension is to create a frictionless channel for resources to flow from the top line to the bottom line.

Revenue Growth: It is about top-line business growth by maximizing ROI to add up overall business value in the second dimension. When maintaining a clear and efficient bottom line, with enough forward thinking to 'plan in' growth, and this dimension allows the organization to use technology to pour more on the top line. IT leaders need to encourage their teams to spend more time with leaders on the business side as well as directly with customers. These engagements are leading IT to be much more proactive in proposing - as opposed to responding to - ideas for new ways to improve customer service or actually create new customer value and revenue.Also, you have to have some measure to show what value was created. The question is what the sources of IT value are; different companies may have different definitions of value. In order to show value, first, all parties need to agree on the common value proposition, then, you need to be able to measure it, if you can not, then you can not show how much value was created or lost.

Innovation Engine: To become even more valued added, at the third dimension, IT needs to re-brand itself as a business innovation or transformation center. However, excessive IT complexity limits innovation and historical lack of success in IT project compounds the situation. To break the mold, IT needs to rethink itself as an innovative and business leading organization composed not only of technical ‘gurus’ but rather of business ‘gurus’ who also happen to be technically proficient. In order for IT to be an innovation engine, IT leaders must be multi-dimensional thinkers, present different CIO management styles, organizational setups and management focuses as well. IT task is to provide innovation platforms to the business. And business divisions get empowered with effective tools that allow them to shape and create the processes they need to execute new strategies and operations.

Unique Leverage: Each business unit brings a unique perspective and set of skills to the table. Business unit must each lend this view to the executive office and participate in decisions about business strategy. What the part of the value IT offers is a way of looking at things that are analytical, optimistic, and change-aware. And IT is in a unique position to have a bird view of enterprise architecture and processes. There are times when IT will be the only party in the room with one or all of these views. So IT needs to use such knowledge and experience to identify, sell, and pilot new processes and platforms that can give business leverage in its domain and sector. This is the dimension in which IT is really almost given 'gifts' every day. The trick isn't identifying new things (most often), but culling through the hundreds of new things, and finding those that can be used to business betterment.


Governance Champion: With the trend of IT consumerization, IT needs to play an even more crucial role in IT and business governance. Being a governance champion doesn’t mean you always say 'NO' to the business, but about how to confidently say 'yes' as business enabler without compromising the key GRC principles and practices. Keep holistic IT governance solution: Good governance takes into consideration of organizations ability to absorb more change or invest more in technology, as well as IT ability to execute the changes requested. It is a state of mind that must be achieved. Products and processes are possibly counterproductive when they do not flow from a pervasive GRC mindset. As this mindset matures Organizations that are able to flex the risk-reward balance predominantly through being a risk- aware more effectively.

Looking through these multi-dimensional lenses, the IT value creation starts with keeping the business running efficiently and securely but extends quickly and broadly to include the facilitation of employee productivity and creation of business growth, agility and innovation. The truly successful CIOs and their entire IT organizations can establish the foundation for the success of the company with the partner of the business.

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