Friday, June 24, 2016

“CIO Master” Book Tuning XXXXXV: Three Aspects in Running a Digital-Ready IT

A Digital-Ready IT is a thresholding competency of the organization and an enabler of business digital capability.

Either running IT or managing the organization as a whole, being digitally ready goes beyond just applying the latest technologies or playing the trendy gadgets. The management has to follow digital principles and take a structured approach to shifting from inside-out operation focus to outside-in customer-centric. Digital transformation starts with mind shift, business value has to be driven, indicated and understood at all levels of the organization. This is accomplished by establishing strong interdependent relationships, the shared vision, and wisdom. Here are three aspects of running a digital-ready IT organization.




Digital-Ready IT leadership: As a leader, the CIO has to be able to inspire and encourage with his/her vision and generate conviction and enthusiasm for the missions of the company and the IT division, regardless of how exciting or mundane they may be. CIOs need to build hardcore expertise and develop skills beyond technology, based on the understanding of their particular organization's current and potential corporate structure, and strategic plan. CIOs should be part of the top management team providing his/her inputs on the business strategies and decisions and their impact. CIOs need to develop a broad set of skills and capabilities beyond technology, coupled with the ability to understand, and translate “tech-talk” to business conversation. Among other skills, they need strong business orientation and a proven ability to bring the benefits of IT to solve business issues. Every top executive should make their voice heard on this front, have an opportunity and responsibility to participate in the strategic discussion, innovation dialog and to come up with creative ideas, most of the functions can make process innovation within their division, IT, on the other hand, which is in a unique position to get amazing 360 degrees view of the businesses, process, and challenges required to integrate the organization together, has much more of an opportunity to enable incremental top-line and bottom-line value across the business, not just within IT, but at the organizational scope, even across the digital business ecosystem.


Digital-Ready Enterprise Capability: It’s not sufficient to run IT as a service provider or process tuner only. IT needs to become a business solutionary and enterprise capability builder. IT is not just a support center with monolithic hardware only, IT needs to run with a software startup mentality and build capability based unique business 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. Organization can achieve capability-based strategy seamlessly, so the firm can exist, thrive, and generate a suitable return as an outcome of being competitively advantageous. More specifically, digital-ready enterprise capabilities will enhance:
-Customer satisfaction (both internal IT customers and end customers accordingly)
- THe Value of IT to the business
-Projects delivered on value (beyond just on time & budget)
- Innovation Management
- IT performance management for both bottom line “keep the light on” and top line revenue contribution.
- Business cost optimization


Digital-ready talent management: IT talent shortage is the reality. If at the traditional setting of IT organizations, IT professionals are expected to take orders only, and accomplish the static tasks repetitively without breaking the mode of “we always do things this way.” Or IT recruiting approach only focuses on the short-term immediate need for the handy project, without long term talent planning to align with business strategy. So, with the rapidly change in the digital era, Talent Management is throwing fresh challenges and calls for radical change to be embraced. There are large skill gaps existing in many IT organizations, they fail to keep up on standards within their domain that can lead to the holistic enterprise viewpoint, and execution of IT strategies that fit within that enterprise viewpoint. Talent competency is the digital lenses through which people managers can assess talent in more strategic, analytical and creative way. The best or the right people are the cornerstones of the best IT organizations; while the best teams with complementary thinking style, skills, and capability can achieve much more than any individual who performs on his or her own.  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.


In today’s digital dynamic and technical environments where IT is being used more and more around the globe for revenue generating initiatives and the business is becoming IT. A Digital-Ready IT is a thresholding competency of the organization, it is an enabler of business digital capability, goes beyond an IT-business alignment stage, and move up to integration and engagement level. IT can weave all necessary business elements, either hard or soft, to orchestrate a digital symphony.





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