Monday, April 25, 2016

"CIO Master" Tuning XVII: IT’s Digital Portfolio

The purpose to manage a healthy IT digital portfolio is to run, grow, and transform business accordingly.

IT plays a significant role in the business’s digital transformation journey. To reimagine IT potential, reinvent IT management and maximize IT value, it is important to build a balanced IT digital portfolio with a set of differentiated capabilities to enable business growth and improve IT and overall organizational operational excellence. Generally speaking, a capability is an ability that an organization, person, or system possesses. Capabilities are typically expressed in general and high-level terms and typically require a combination of people, processes, and technology to achieve. Digital Capability Portfolio management is essential to successful strategy management. So What’s in an IT digital portfolio?


Project Portfolio Management Capabilities: The balanced IT application portfolio can deliver lots of value for the business in many ways. It is apart from the basic automation, availability of information and reports. This is the digital arena, IT applications, and its dynamics is totally different.The right IT applications blended with current digital trends can deliver the significant benefits to the business, such as customer satisfaction, business optimization, and change adaptability, etc. Portfolio management is also essential to successful corporate governance and as such, a comprehensive fusing of a firm's strategic capabilities. IT is not just the sum of services or processes, or monolithic hardware only, IT needs to build capability based unique competency via weaving all necessary hard and soft elements, in reaching high-level maturity. Each of these same capabilities may be combined in different fashions to yield multiple competencies. If capabilities define how you do something (marketing, logistics, production, etc.) and competencies describe just the result of those capability combinations in terms of what you deliver to the market and customers, then the firm can exist, thrive, and generate a suitable return as an outcome of being competitively advantageous. The de facto best practices of managing IT project portfolio need to include such as, only manage a business project, not for technology's sake, prioritize the portfolio, and manage full application life cycle. Every IT project is the initiative to help build business capability and competency.


Innovation Management Portfolio: IT needs to reinvent itself as the innovation engine of the organization. It helps the business to build a balanced portfolio of innovation projects, across the matrix of three types of innovation (process, product/service, business model) and three degrees of innovation (incremental, substantial, breakthrough). Managing innovation portfolio should be integrated with the annual strategic planning process and financial investment model. The size and mix of the innovation project portfolio depend on the business situation, strategic objectives and severity of external challenges or changes. Generally, all businesses should have a handful of "bets" in the breakthrough category. What's important when developing the mix is to make sure:
(1) You're accepting risk for potential reward.
(2) You aren't ignoring specific types of innovation
(3) Innovation is benefiting the widest possible audience within your organization
(4) You aren't sacrificing the long term viability of the portfolio for short-term rewards


Digital Talent Portfolio: People are often the weakest link in strategy management of the business. It's important to define the set of competency to tailor your organizational needs. Digital talent management capability needs to have the new digital dimension to handle digital new normal, so it has become necessary to develop strategic core competencies for digital professionals. All of the competencies seem important, but the main thing that you should put into the consideration is that does your company really need such core competencies and on what level if applicable. It always depends on the company culture, position requirements and type of industry the company works for. Build a solid digital talent portfolio for long term business perspective, not just make a compromise for the short term skill shortage. Employees serve in various roles throughout your organization, and each role has job-specific competencies that need to be understood and analyzed before you can begin developing different "talent management" processes and systems for business advantage - then the talent management task is a lot more strategic and complex. IT organizations usually need both specialized generalists and dedicated IT specialists. Competencies are interrelated with the traits and experience. In a competitive 21st workplace, it has become necessary to develop strategic core competencies. One’s capable of providing and creating sustainable solutions. Developing core competencies is important. It's what defines how 'specialized generalist' executives are, and speaks volumes of how productive they can be. IT talent in demand are those who can work independently, have excellent problem-solving skills, are disciplined, have a "customer focus," and communicate well. Talent competency is the digital lenses through which people managers can assess talent in more strategic, analytical and creative way. Assess professional traits on which competencies are built. The integrity and suitability of the competency are tested through traits such as critical thinking, creative thinking, attitude, passion, entrepreneurship, leadership, maturity, and wisdom. etc. Employees serve in various roles throughout your organization, and each role has job-specific competencies that need to be understood and analyzed before you can begin developing different "talent management" processes and systems. The well-managed IT talent portfolio is to ensure the business has the talent to run and grow the business, and put the right people with the right capabilities in the right positions for driving the business transformation.


The purpose to manage a healthy IT digital portfolio is to run, grow, and transform business accordingly. IT leaders need to set the right priority, the focus should be on business value and strategic impact. At today’s fast changing business dynamic, organizations need to do the regular review to ensure the business has and continue to build the set of digital capabilities and competency to manage change and improve overall organizational agility and maturity.




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