Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Three “F” Characteristics in Running a Digital IT

The digital world is so data-driven and so information-intensive, technology needs will only expand, and most likely expand hyperbolically.

Digital transformation represents the next stage of business maturity which will improve how the enterprise works and interacts with its ecosystem, with customers at the center of its focus. IT plays a pivotal role in such a radical transformation. There is an “alphabetic soup” in running a digital IT which must lead in reaching high-level performance and maturity; besides triple “I”s - Information, Innovation, and Integration, triple “A”s - Automation, Analysis, and Agility, triple “C”s - Change, Collaboration, and Cloudification, triple “P”s - Principle, Process, and Performance, triple “E”s Enablement, Exploration, and Effectiveness & Efficiency, triple “V”s - Vision, Value, and Variety, Here we introduce triple “F”s in running a high-performing and high mature digital IT:

Fast: IT needs to be running in a more proactive digital mode, rather than in a reactive industrial mode. IT has to speed up as a business enabler to adapt to the change faster than the rest of organizations. At industrial silo mode, IT plays as a controller, IT staff often takes IT driven measures routinely to keep "their" IT systems working well for the business and their colleagues, but slow response to changes. At traditional IT organizations, if you choose "cheap" and also choose "good," then expect "slow." Alternatively, if you choose "fast" to accompany "cheap," then expect poor quality. Cheap, fast and good - it seems you can have only two choices at a time. However, now with the emergent digital technologies such as Cloud, Mobile, Social, Analytics, and IT consumerization trends, IT has better opportunity to run faster with digital speed, be both high quality and cost-effective as well. Most of IT organizations today have to run bi-modal modes: IT at industrial speed --keeps the light on, and digital IT with faster speed focuses on innovation and continuous improvement. The digital world is so data-driven and so information-intensive, technology needs will only expand, and most likely expand hyperbolically.

Flow: Digital means flow: the energy flow, the information flow, the idea flow, and the mind flow. In fact, in this digital information age, there isn't really much of an enterprise without the massive oceans of Data & Information that flow through the enterprise at any given split second. IT is the foundation of data, information, and modern knowledge. Managing data like a company asset will indeed be key functions especially since the data has left the company premise. The fact is that a huge percentage of IT is about the identification and advancement of knowledge for the enterprise and its people. IT is the foundation for massive volumes of data & information that is collected, persisted, categorized, mapped, sliced, diced, reordered, related, transformed, and made meaning of... unifying a disparate cloud environment, without which knowledge would be minimal in the modern day. IT is the force to make value and knowledge flow into business processes. The CIO has the seat at the big table, and with the voice to co-create business strategy. This happens when the strategy of the company is based on the fact that information flow is one of the key resources, and information management is truly a strategic matter.

Flexibility: Flexibility is to embrace the different PoVs and alternative way to do things. A flexible IT organization is a complex social system starting to appreciate such attributes as 'readiness,’ 'ownership,' ‘integration,’ 'full open communication,’ customized structuring as well as developing 'partnerships.’ Ideally, the conscious recognition and use of the complexity inherent in organizational systems leads to greater simplicity. From a structure perspective, centralized, decentralized, and hybrid models can all work given the proper planning and management focus to keep them well-tuned for improving IT flexibility, business agility, and governance flexibility. The culture of flexibility advocated by effective IT leadership is about bringing out the best in others, to make people feel comfortable being who they are and taking the risks necessary to fulfill their potential. IT is at the unique position to oversight business processes, and therefore, it can play a pivotal role in business’s digital transformation. However, breaking down silos and being intentional about developing processes that encourage collaboration and enforcing flexibility is a great first step in bringing about cultural change. Hence, IT has the very power to influence on organization's "Personality" as well.

Many think the new way of management is the management by Information Technology, Three “F” factors matter, not only to avoid the other "F"- failure but to ensure success. IT has become so critical for businesses’ success. Many times, it is a determining factor of success for your larger business strategy to achieve the rapid growth and long-term sustainability of the business as well.


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