Thursday, March 31, 2016

"CIO Master” Book Preview: Chapter 5 Thirteen Digital Flavored IT

You can choose your own favorite ‘digital flavor’ to run a highly effective IT organization to strengthen your strength or strengthen the weakness.

In today's digital business environment, information is the lifeblood, and technology touches every phase and each corner of the business, IT running in an industrial mode as a business controller or cost center  no longer fits in the fast changing business circumstances or volatile digital dynamic, how to run IT with the growth mentality at digital speed? How to run IT as an innovation engine and a digital forerunner, And from IT management perspective, we introduce 13 “digital-flavored IT” to accelerate digital transformation in this chapter. Here we briefly describe five featured digital IT:

An Innovative IT: IT is the business. Innovative IT can only happen if IT is regarded as a strategic partner and given the role in catalyzing innovation and driving business changes. It’s been the case for a while that IT departments are wrapped in the heroics of bringing systems back online efficiently when really the resources should have been further up to ensure IT can do more with innovation, besides getting the fundamental “Keeping the Light on” right. One of the most appropriate titles of the CIO is “Chief Innovation Officer.” CIOs generally have a greater opportunity to stand out and take a lead in driving innovation across their company scope. IT has a natural innovative spirit. Most IT specialists are eager to use new technologies and gadgets. But there is a significant difference between technical proficiency and business innovation. Natural IT innovation spirit can be used to the benefit of business only when IT participates in defining strategy and business goals and make IT as a business driver, and reinvent IT as an innovation engine. So IT can devote more attention to what organizations really care about - putting technology to achieve business advantage.

An Influential IT: Fundamentally, the purpose of IT organization is to ensure the right information going to the right people at the right time and location in order to make the right decision. Hence, IT is an influencer of the business decision-making process, where technology is a key contributor to business success. The big problem of making the right decision is to define a problem. Decision-making scenario is depending on problem context. An effective way for resource allocation and utilization is an important factor for problem framing and decision making. IT could be very useful in terms of looking at things differently, contributing ideas, close functional silos, and offering the new methodology, analytics tools, and capabilities to build a high-intelligent digital organization. Hence, IT should be viewed as a stakeholder in the business decision-making process, and make the full fledged influence both from a strategic perspective as well as through operational lenses.

An Agile IT: Agile is not just a hot IT buzzword, it’s the digital mentality to run today’s businesses, and a set of principles, practices to help businesses drive change and adapt to change promptly. In the context of IT, from the highest strategic to the deepest technical levels, “agility’ is a fast, sure response to external stimuli. It requires distinct patterns of IT capabilities, with specific positioning in the organization. It includes but not limited to portfolio management, project management, change management, rapid adoption and deployment of emergent digital technologies, etc. It takes strategic guideline and follow agile principles, and the purpose of building an Agile IT is to pursue an optimal way in running IT and improving overall business agility.

A Balanced IT: Modern IT is both complex and paradoxical because IT has to strike the right balance between innovation and standardization; stability and agility, digital speed and industrial mode, “on-premise” and “on demand” IT. The pervasive digitalization or IT consumerism requires the balance of the “old experience” and the new way to do things, the “learning and doing.” Now, we have more computing power, greater connectivity, more data, greater potential empowerment of the digital workers. IT-business alignment is also moving into IT enablement and engagement. To be more effective and successful, IT leaders must support the existing environment, provide reliable service and solutions to achieve operational excellence, but also run at a faster speed while generating initiatives that are leveraging SMAC technologies to “do more with innovation.”

A Digital Fit IT: We live in the digital age with explosive information and the abundance of knowledge. However, more is not always equal to better. Some commented this is also the era of information overload and “data obesity.”  IT organizations are at the center of such changes, suffer from redundant application maintenance and heavy legacy technologies. Complicating technology and processes stifle the business’s change capability and make IT not nimble enough to capture the new digital trend and ride above the change curves. Hence, IT needs to prune the “weed” regularly. The approach is to implement a program that like a gardener prune the tree and nurture the valuable solution. An effective CIO has to continually review existing applications and systems in the light of business set technology directions. Because “keeping IT fit” takes both strategy and discipline, but it’s worth the effort. And it is a significant step in transforming IT from a cost center to a value creator, and elevate IT agility.

Run, Grow, and Transform! You can choose your own favorite ‘digital flavor’ to run a highly effective IT organization to strengthen your strength or strengthen the weakness. But you need to run well a balanced portfolio to both ‘keep the light on’ and drive digital transformation journey. And it takes very solid leadership, focus, and the ability to build strong relationships with all levels of the organization, IT has to become a business enabler to catalyze the change and improve organizational effectiveness and agility.
“CIO Master” Book Preview Conclusion Running IT as Digital Transformer
“CIO Master” Book Preview: Chapter 9 IT Agility
“CIO Master” Book Preview: Chapter 8 Three "P"s in Running Digital IT
“CIO Master” Book Preview: Chapter 7 IT Innovation Management
“CIO Master” Book Preview: Chapter 6 Digital Strategy-Execution Continuum
"CIO Master” Book Preview: Chapter 5 Thirteen Digital Flavored IT
“CIO Master” Book Preview: Chapter 4 CIO as Talent Master Introduction
“CIO Master” Book Preview: Chapter 3 “CIOs as Change Agent” Introduction
“CIO Master” Book Preview: Chapter 2 “CIOs as Digital Visionary” Introduction
“CIO Master” Book Preview: Chapter 1 “Twelve Digital CIO Personas” Introduction
"CIO Master - Unleash the Digital Potential of IT" Introduction
"CIO Master - Unleash the Digital Potential of IT" Book Preview


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