Saturday, November 28, 2015

Three Rs in Running a Digital IT

Reimagining IT means to unleash the potential of IT organization to make it more strategic and visible.

Many IT organizations are at transformation journey, from an industrial model to digital leap; from back office function to innovation engine; from a cost center to value-added; from 'T'-technology driven to 'I'-Information focus, from alignment to engagement. 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; triple “Q”s - Quality, Quantity, and Questioning; triple “G”s - Gap minding, Governance, and Gauging Performance; triple “W”s -Workforce analytics, Water-Scrum-Fall hybrid model, and Wisdom management,  here we introduce three “R” factors in running a high-effective digital IT.


Reimagine IT: Digital means CHANGE and SPEED. IT is no longer just the tangible hardware boxes (those are heading into the commodity), the future of IT is more about the intangible information fabric (Cloud, Social, Mobile Computing, Analytics) interwoven into your organization. Businesses need people who are passionate about exploiting information enabled by information technology to work at the heart of the enterprise. Organizations rely more and more on technology; the IT department has more and more to overcome. Running at digital speed, people tend to have high expectation of digital flow, IT department is not a silo by itself and it draws its energy from within the organization as well. So how to reimagine and design an IT structure to optimize business processes, improve productivity, also encourage employees to be innovative and enforce cross-functional collaboration, and embrace Agile mindset & methodology? Before you could create a new IT structure, you have to reimagine a digital IT, make sure it’s not just in alignment with the organizational "culture," but also help cultivate the culture of innovation, as that plays a critical role in how you structure your department, services, the underlying rules.


Revenue-driven: There's almost no enterprise project these days where IT is not a big piece of the puzzle. Therefore, pursuing IT revenue-generating opportunities and measure it in the right way is one of the best strategies. IT value is measured by optimization and consumption of IT assets in support of the business services. To measure IT contribution to revenue generation, IT infrastructure assets, both HW and SW (externally acquired or internally developed) must be linked to business services that support the revenue generation. In other words, IT value is measured by optimization and consumption of IT assets in support of the business services that are identified within the organization's revenue producing streams. From IT leadership perspective, there is no one path to becoming a revenue-generating CIO. Some CIOs are in the game from the start with the full backing of the top management team, the board and other power brokers in the company. Others may battle from behind to prove they should be there. IT delivery should be transparent to users and managers in organizations. CIOs also need concentrate on the business information requirements that support company growth. it's the value (often undervalued) of corporate information as a resource and defining how it should be used strategically to best business advantage.


Risk Management: IT owns delivery of one of any organization's key assets - its information. A failure to deliver because IT function is so tied up with risk or its own governance rules is unforgivable. Speaking about IT risk, almost all departments were somehow involved, more or less. And here comes the first obstacles - if the risks spread among the different department, who will cover the costs? The financing structure and procedures are of course complicated, and CIOs have to take into account of internal politics, budgets, etc. The balancing act is taken along a continuum of risk and reward. Effective risk and governance shouldn’t stifle innovation, operational efficiency, and agility.

Reimagining IT means to unleash the potential of IT organization to make it more strategic and visible. Fundamentally, assuming IT still stands for "Information Technology," the mission of IT is to get the right information to the right people at the right time with effective risk management. While the mission may sound simple, execution of the mission may be challenging. IT needs to go beyond from alignment to engagement. These engagements are leading IT to be much more proactive in proposing - as opposed to responding to - ideas for new ways to create new customer value and revenue, and running a high-effective digital IT organization.

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