Friday, November 20, 2015

Three “Q”s to Run a High-Mature Digital IT

Information Management means to have the right people getting the right information to make the right decisions at the right time.

Cross-industry sectors, IT organizations are shifting from a technology support center of a company into an information steward of business. Managing information and the information position of an organization is what ought to be called Information Management. Information Management means to have the right people get the right information to make the right decisions at the right time. And that information has the right quality (actual, right, complete,...) and quantity (the volume of data, etc) and the information is used properly. It is a strategic imperative for managing information effectively in driving digital transformation. 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, triple “F”s - Fast, Flow, and Flexibility; triple "T" factors - Transformation, Transparency, and Talent Management; triple “S” factors: Strategy, Speed, and Simplicity; triple “D” factors - Data, DevOp, and Design, here we introduce three “Q” factors in running a high-mature digital IT:

Quality: The "people, process, technology" must be defined and maintained to support the quality goal of IT organization. The focus is necessary to maintain or improve quality because there can be positive impacts as well as negative needs to be on organizational capabilities with technology as a key ingredient. The right people -those who share the business objective and have the requisite skills to deliver it, using processes that are valid and evolving can adapt and adopt technology that maintains and expands capabilities that support strategies and priorities in accordance with the corporate culture.  From PM perspective, the big Q - Quality is a function of scope, budget, and resources.This is why Agile approach involves users early in a process of creation the "things," and uses them continuously to "assure quality." From data management perspective, by “quality data” – it means clean, organized, actionable data from which to extract relevant information and insight. Data quality does not end with managing the incorrect entry of information, but the logic of data has to be taken into account too.  From talent management perspective, high-quality leader or employees are great in attitude, aptitude, and altitude -a winning mixture composed of character, intelligence and competence in a humble frame of self-esteem which makes aware of his/her quality without needing to show them. They must be anchored to a full professionalism; also made of personal qualities such as, independent judgment, critical thinking, professionalism and sense of responsibility and balance through which it becomes possible to earn the role of trust and guiding the organization in which they work, the respect and trust of others. and become a value constructor. These are the multidimensional understanding of quality in running a digital IT.

Quantity: As Drucker wisely put: you can only manage what you measure. The quantitative measurement helps management continue improving IT efficiency. The senior leadership team should ask every department how much the IT service is worth to them. Each department will need to measure that in a way appropriate to their business function. The things that can be measured from within the IT function are all surrogates for real performance indicators. Measuring them and improving their scores will probably improve the actual performance of the IT function, such as IT Savings (IT work which positively impacts the bottom line); IT expense as a percentage of sales. IT spend per employee. IT employees as a percentage of total employees. Uptime % for business critical systems. Customer service % of positive responses. Utilization of key IT managed resources. Total Cost of IT ) includes all costs associated with building, running and operating the IT environment and includes workforce costs, license costs, hardware costs, software costs, systems costs, outsourcing costs, a portion of HR costs, etc. (In other words, more than just the IT budget).  IT ROI Ratio = (Net Operating Revenue – (Total Expenses – TCIT))/TCIT. Return on IT Investment = Net Operating Profit / TCIT.

Questioning: Modern CIOs lead by questioning, asking the right questions is both the art and science. The CIO role is a challenging perch to sit on. Whilst they need to ensure their IT department keeps the  lights on, continually improves, provide the IT enablement to allow the business to grow. Effective IT leaders navigate their leadership through continuous asking: “Who, Who not, Where, Where not, What, What not, When, When not, Why, Why not, How, and How not” Ask the right questions for ensuring doing the right things before doing things right. Ask the right question by using business vocabulary if possible. Too often, when asking questions, you tend to assume that the people who are answering actually understand your language. Many times, that is not the case and leads to a misalignment between "what you need" vs. "what you get."An effective leader not only asks a deep “WHY” - to diagnose the root cause of problems but also asks the positive “Why NOT?" -The refusal to be bound by constraints and limitations and a pursuit of possibilities rather than impossibilities seems to be a hallmark of great leadership achievements. A true leader has vision and insight to ask “What If & How about.” A truly great leader would ask “What if we do things in a new way” or 'How can I make things better for the whole?'. The one with insight sees what everyone would want to see, if only you had his/her eyes. A good leader asks the questions anyone would want to ask, if only you had his/her perspective. A great leader provides the vision to achieve the results that all would want to go if you could define the challenges. Ask the right question via business’s viewpoint. One point perhaps too often overlooked is that the CIO needs to be a part of a the executive team, for the role to be effective and as such the specific skills and areas of engagement will inevitably vary across organizations as these individuals fill the gaps left by other colleagues.

Be patient, but persistent; it takes the time to transform IT from an industrial silo mode to a hyperconnected and high-intelligent digital mode. Doing so demands quality time spent with sales/marketing, operations, finance leaders and even end customers.  IT leadership also needs to shift from command-control to consultative style, leading by questioning. The CIO has to foresee, anticipate business needs for information and then prepare and gear up the information systems to not only make readily pertinent and quality information to top business decision makers but also preempt the need and present the quantitative business value accordingly.


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