Friday, January 29, 2016

Five Focal Points in Running a Digital IT

Digital IT keeps the digital flow from top-down to bottom up; from branding on the surface to tuning the processes underneath.

Many IT organizations are accelerating from the industrial speed to the digital speed, it also needs to sharpen its image from a back office support center to a front yard of digital innovation. IT-business alignment is also shifted to IT-business engagement. But what are the emergent trends to run a high effective digital IT, and how can IT become more customer-centric, high innovative and agiler to adapt to rapid changes and frequent disruptions?


Self-Service business solution delivery: With the emergent SMAC digital technologies, digital IT can be more tailored to different business needs and provide the self-service delivery mode for business functions. Cloud is here to stay, and cloud solutions are becoming more mature, there is real value and every business should get their feet wet and learn what the questions or decisions are, so they can use the tools available when the need arises, but you have to consider all aspects. Tailor cloud solution to meet different business needs. Cloud has different flavors and types, Hybrid, private, and public; SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS, etc. There are important considerations such as mission criticality, integration requirements, data volumes, pricing model, and competitive differentiation required. For example, if there is a need for an application to support a business function where you have to maintain competitive differentiation, then the public nature of a cloud application may not be the best choice. Still, Cloud is a journey, it takes well planning and optimized processes to move up seamlessly.


Brand Recognition: Most of IT organizations have been perceived as a cost center and slow to change in their organization in the last couple of decades. Therefore, running a high-performing digital IT means to re-imagining IT as a digital brain of an organization, and rebrand IT as a business value creator and an innovation engine. And there should always have substance behind branding message. Some CIOs are looking at the idea of creating logos and slogans not only to convey who IT is and what it can offer, but also to ensure that business clients won't forget it. The key is: Branding and internal marketing campaigns can not be just puffery or publicity. If there’s no substance behind your key messages, if you cannot actually deliver the services you’re supposed to deliver – there’s no point in starting. Branding is also not something that takes time away from the fundamentals of operations, execution, and management. It is instead a methodology, a different way of looking at how you do these things and innovate the better way to get things better.


People-centric process management: Customers are at the center of a digital organization. Customer Centricity is built upon rigorous business’s capabilities and processes. In order to improve business processes, questioning the reason for the existence of the business processes in the first instance, ask the questions; Should this process even exist in the first place? Or is it an inability to imagine a different perspective that could be the big resistance to Customer Centricity taking a firmer hold? Overly rigid process is an outcome of using rigid process approaches where they don't belong. Also, there should be enough collective experiences in any organization these days on Change Management to take the changes with systematic steps and measure the results accordingly. But often all along implementation, the same business, and user community put its complete resistance as the majority of the time, management has not made clear about their intentions and goals while embarking on such IT initiative. In very few implementations, customers are making the effort to ascertain how a "day in the life" of any worker at any level. from labor to management, will be impacted due to this IT initiative. Process approaches fit for service, but don't restrict – they should support by getting the right information to the right people at the right time.


Data-information-knowledge-insight Management: Fundamentally, IT is shifting from a technology custodian to an information steward, and to ensure the right people getting the right information at the right time in the right locations. Information and decision-making are intimately connected and interdependent. For decision-making to be effective, the decision-maker must have enough knowledge to make their decisions rich in information and significantly different from the available data. With digital flow, both data and knowledge are being convergent in terms what action ensues (for example in analytics), whereas information is divergent as the decision-making process essentially is, and knowledge is where the cultural and social context alignment or misalignment with the information that precedes it. Information is situated between data and knowledge. Knowledge is information in use, an expression of understanding relating information and experience accumulated over time. And ultimately it’s knowledge that supports the decision-making. Therefore, IT needs to manage data-information-knowledge-insight life cycle efficiently to maximize information value and improve decision-making effectiveness and achieve business results.


Working-Learning-Innovation: If the mantra of a traditional workplace is to improve the productivity of people, and then, it’s still not enough to run a digital IT, because digital is also an age of innovation, the importance of creativity for organizations is well-known. Either being a disruptor or being disrupted, innovation needs to be well embedded into the business culture, and process mechanism in order to run an IT as an innovation engine of the organization. Creativity in the workplace is fundamentally about the mental production of new ideas - not just any new ideas, but the creation of ideas that are both original and valuable to business growth. After researching what happens when business managers use lateral thinking, the requirement that creativity in the workplace also requires the deliberate creation of valuable ideas when they are needed - they need to be created on-demand. People have to be given the opportunity to be creative, they have to become empowered to work, learn and innovate.‘”Survival learning” or what is more often termed “adaptive learning” is important – indeed, it is necessary. But for a learning organization, “adaptive learning” must be joined by “generative learning,” learning that enhances your 'capacity to create.’ Because, for a learning organization, it is not enough to survive only, but for thriving, ultimately running an innovative IT organization.

Therefore, running a digital IT is not just about playing some latest technology tools or gadgets, or following the trendy practices, it has to keep digital flow from top-down to bottom up; from branding on the surface to tuning the processes underneath; from data-driven decisions style to customer-centric mentality, It is the shift from doing digital to being digital.

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