Tuesday, September 27, 2016

"CIO Master" Book Tuning #105: Grease the Wheel of IT to Accelerate Digital Transformation

The role of IT today for many organizations is a business solutionary for information, automation, and innovation.

In the industrial age, traditional IT was running as an isolated support function with friction, and perceived as a cost center. At the dawn of the Digital Era, with increasing speed of changes, IT needs to be reinvented to achieve its own potential and help the business maximize its overall performance as well. In practice, how to grease the wheel of IT to accelerate digital transformation.

Streamline information flow across functional boundaries: Information comes from the analysis of the data, technology allows for the storage, capture, manipulation, and presentation of data. Information and technology catalyze today's digital businesses. Information brings about business ideas and insight; business ideas generate lots of information. Information Systems are the backbone and provide valuable information for key decision making. In the organization with a lower level of maturity, the business is struggling with overly restrictive hierarchy and bureaucratic mentality, the silo walls and infighting are all the cause of business frictions. IT organization as the data steward of the organization, has to overcome the functional barriers or office politics to keep information flow and manage data lifecycle effectively. It is so critical to streamline information flow across functional boundaries, because fundamentally, Information Management is to make sure that the right information is in the right place at the right time and shared to the right persons.

Optimize business processes to keep ideas flow and implemented: Business frictions often stifle innovation and decrease organizational efficiency and productivity. Digital catalyzes the culture of innovation due to the convenience of learning and sharing. How these ideas are recognized, filtered and dealt with well become a crucial factor in an organization's success in producing digitized products and services. Traditional IT organizations have a controller’s mentality and sometimes lag behind the changes, as the result, the gaps between IT and business are enlarged, and the digital transformation is decelerated. To reinvent IT as an innovation engine means, IT needs to keep optimizing business processes, and reframing of business planning in order, build the appropriately configured innovation platform with scalability, for sharing and building ideas throughout the enterprise. As a result, innovation becomes a persistent, shared reality, even across silos and geographies. A well-considered tool/platform for innovation, in the given culture, operating environment, and governance could strengthen the innovation effort and success rate to the organization.

Grease the wheel of IT for the automation and delivery of product and service: Developing and delivering tools down to departments and users help those better do their job, is one of the most critical roles for IT. Automation is needed for efficiency to balance the demand and supply. The first stage in the journey to automation must be to examine every process and identify how it can be made more efficiently and how it connects to other processes, in order to run more streamlined and profitable operations. Many IT departments operate in silos with separate teams delivering separate functional task. Effective automation should first examine these functions and understand the connections and define any constraints in the system. Identify and remove the inefficiencies and rationalize the manual actions first. As this process goes along, see what can be automated by using the automation available natively within many of the tools you already have, but don’t use it because you don’t examine the processes from a holistic viewpoint on a regular basis.

The role of IT today for many organizations is a business solutionary for information, automation, and innovation. Although the real goal is, as the case with every part of the organization, helping the business become, stay, and increase profitability! The wheel of IT in the current business environment should be able to keep spinning to enabling business outcomes and accelerate digital transformation.


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