Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The CIO’s Digital Agenda XXXXVII: Transform IT from a Cost Center to a Value Creator

Too often, IT is driving by a look at rear mirror only, not pay enough attention to the front window.

IT Management is a strange animal, in that the capabilities are there, the data is there - but the motivations are often confused. Technology drives changes nowadays, but IT is often considered the function slower to change with “controlling mentality.” IT tends to measure itself against trivial things IT considers important but are often less important and impactful in the business lens. No wonder most of IT organizations are still perceived as a cost center. CIOs as IT leaders, how to practice innovative leadership to transform IT to a value creator, and improve the overall organizational capabilities and maturity?  


Transform IT from a Cost Center to a Value Creator

  • How to Transform IT from a Cost Center into Value Creator? In most cases, the IT department isn't producing anything that is saleable and, therefore, many in the organization will view IT as something that seems to ceaselessly suck up money with a little-perceived return. First and foremost a CIO needs to show that IT isn't just a cost center but is a deliverer of value, what’re the effective approaches in doing so?


  • Is IT a Growth Engine or Supporting Function:IT perception is always controversial, on one hand, IT touches every nerve of an organization at the digital era, makes a significant impact on business growth; on the other hand, most of IT organizations today are still under-appreciated, being treated as supporting, back office function, why, and how should IT refine its purpose and rebrand its reputation?


  • Three Perceptions of IT Value Proposition: IT is working hard to transform from a cost center to value center, but some of the challenges facing in IT valuation is that we attempt to apply the same measurement approach to all investments - yet there are unique attributes that differentiate one investment category from another. Further, too often, IT is driving by a look at rear mirror only, not pay enough attention to the front window and create forward-looking view upon how to run IT smoothly, or only focus on ‘tangible’ value, with ignorance of ‘intangible’ one. So what are the best way to present IT value?


  • How to Run IT as a Better Business Partner: Many IT organizations are at transformation journey, from an industrial model to digital leap; from a cost center to value-added; from 'T'-technology driven to 'I'-Information focus, from alignment to engagement. But more specifically, how should IT leaders run IT as a better business partner?


  • A Value - Driven IT  In many organizations, IT is still being portrayed as a help desk, back office function and cost center, a business outsider, while IT is supposed to be an integral and critical part of businesses. At what point does IT no longer have to deal with the continuing discussions that include the phrase "IT and the business"? How should IT build its value proposition, and gain a solid reputation as a value creator, innovation engine, customer champion, talent master, business catalyzer, and beyond?

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