Wednesday, June 15, 2016

"CIO Master" Book Tuning XXXXXII: Running IT from “Busyness” to Betterment

The role of IT today for many organizations is SOLUTIONARY for information management, operation automation, and digital orchestration.

The majority of IT organizations still get stuck at the lower level of maturity, overloading, understaffed and struggle to deliver business value with the right speed. On the other side, businesses today rely more and more on technology; people tend to have a high expectation of digital flow, the IT department has more and more challenges to overcome for running at digital mode. Which approach shall you take to run IT from “busyness” to betterment?

IT should involve co-creating business strategy: To make a smooth transition from “busyness” to betterment, IT needs to move from providing largely back-office support to becoming the prime facilitator, enabler, and orchestrator of the total business. An effective IT organization should more focus on vendor/customer relationship management, process optimization, project portfolio management, governance, business Intelligence/analytics. IT value is demonstrated through the rate of productivity increases, the rate of new product development, the rate of market share gains, the rate of customer approval and satisfaction gains, the rate of sales gains, etc. What should be focused on is the integration of IT into the business decisions and processes.This will allow IT to shine in both roles –as enabler and driver. IT needs to proactively work as an integral part of the business to capitalize on opportunity via leading the transformation, or IT delivers the best solution to the business problems which meet the business’s requirement or tailor customer’s needs. IT value-based management needs to be driven by concepts like collaborative value or collective advantage and multi-layer ROIs.  

IT needs to master the art and science of when to say “YES,” when to say “NO” to internal customers requests: As the old adage may still be true, "you have not because you ask not." People tend to have a high expectation of digital flow, very little patience with technology issues. The amount of data to manage is huge and creates a lot of pressure. And there is a reputation in the company that "IT can't deliver”; or, most of IT projects are fixing the symptom, but not cure the root cause, most IT organizations still do not get respect from business, with the risk to lose accountability, be perceived as a reactive cost center. Sometimes IT staff and leaders become so conditioned to a presumed ‘order-taker’ role that they stop asking or don't ask because of past failure to get what they asked fulfilled. To reinvent its image and build up a long-term reputation as a value creator, IT should have a strategy to set the right priority, also have the courage to co-make orders, not just take orders, for avoiding the trap of "busyness" only, and achieving betterment. This requires an incredible ability to make decisions and to respond to and anticipate. Unfortunately often in IT there is the presumption of being able to do everything by yourself or with excel at the same old software. Being innovative and decisive means IT needs to always in a continuous improvement mode to explore the better way, leverage limited resources, and focus on reaching overall agility and maturity.

The Role of IT today for many organizations is SOLUTIONARY for Information Management, Operation Automation, and Digital Orchestration: Although the real goal of IT, as is the case with every part of the organization, helping the business become, stay, and increase profitability! In order to become a better business partner, IT value-based management needs to be driven by concepts like collaborative value or collective advantage and multi-layer ROIs.The role of IT in the current business environment should be able to enable business outcomes. Business is no more interested in IT if it continually just keeps “busyness,” delivers projects without delivering value. CIOs should also seek out and partner with those leaders in the innovative companies who most agitate for speed and change. There are different aspects of a business change at different speed rate, they experience the pressures for change differently. By seeking out and developing a partnership value proposition for those leaders who most agitate for speed and change, CIOs will start to transform their organizations and the perception of IT, to go beyond just a service provider, but a solutionary of Information Management, and a conductor of digital orchestration.

In order to lead digital transformation, IT has to transform itself first, from “busyness” to betterment, from cost center to value creator; from a back office maintenance function to a value creating innovation engine; and from an order taker to a strategy co-maker, in order to improve IT and overall business maturity.


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