Friday, September 30, 2016

"CIO Master" #108: The Logical Scenario for Driving IT Digital Transformation

This is a golden opportunity for CIOs to lead the way by enabling, governing and optimizing the consumer-driven technology and information management.

Technology is pervasive nowadays, business transformations or any business initiatives today nearly always involves some form of technology implementation and information analysis; IT touches both hard business processes and soft human behavior. IT itself is also on the journey of digital transformation, why does IT needs to do this, what’s the logical scenario to take, and what outcome IT expects to achieve?

Strength assessment: IT needs to take a look at itself deeply, make an objective assessment of its strength, and seek opportunities to improve itself. The ultimate goal is to push the IT organization to be clear about its position via the company's core business strategy. Once that's clear, the CIO must re-enforce that position by demonstrating every day how IT contributes to it. If IT strategy is not an integral component of the business strategy or the quality of the operation is not aligned with the company's strategy, it needs to be fixed, and the CIO needs to be talking about what it takes to move in the right direction. IT needs to make an assessment via the business lens, to ensure that the “IT Gap,” where people in IT had all the IT answers, is truly closed, and IT needs to simply deal with business issues, and that you need to be part of the business.

Change Curve: Where is the organization on the technology or process adoption curve? The speed of digital transformation is dependent on how fast IT can ride ahead of the change curves: Is the IT organization a pioneer, mature adapter, or laggard? A strategic change for one type is perhaps old news for another. There are many pitfalls on the way, such as the poorly defined scope and objectives, lack of availability of key personnel, lack of knowledge about organizational design principles, lack of resources (money, people, time, etc.), or lack of sufficient knowledge or skills to manage change and transformation. Transformational change needs resolute leadership too, the premise behind this is more than simply obtaining senior buy-in. This is needed to support a cultural change through the change life cycle which enables everyone, wherever they are in that cycle, to accept the direction and focus on benefits realization. IT needs to have all the necessary structure/ methodology/tool in shaping the new box of thinking and managing the emergent digital complexity in order to ride ahead of change curves, and manage digital transformation effectively.

Alliance: Making changes or any type of digital transformation is a collaborative effort, IT leaders need to identify: Who are your sponsors, supporters and who will be your detractors? Who will work with you to overcome the problem, and who will try to kick you when you're down? And how do you overcome the objections or roadblocks that will inevitably raise? Terms such as collaboration, integration, engagement, harmony, link, fuse, affiliation, coalition, fit, match, meld, convergence are frequently used synonymously with the term business and IT alliance. It means having IT and business collaborate as equal partners so that projects, strategies, organizations, people, etc, work in harmony. The strong level of collaboration entails effective communication, partnership, and collective people capabilities to have a smooth transformation and improve IT maturity. Organizations with higher and stronger maturity outperform organizations with lower maturity.

Risks: Often either at the individual level or an organizational level, people resist to changes, because change means you have to step out of your comfort zones and take risks, thus, the right risk appetite and attitude, as well as risk management and risk intelligence, are critical in any change and transformation effort. It’s important to integrate risk management into change/operational management. Integrating the discipline factor of integrating risk management into the everyday business model helps to move the organization a couple of steps forward in business excellence. But, as always, the challenge of managing human change and adoption is tough, and those firms that can accomplish this feat will have the ability to tackle other challenges.

Measures: Measuring change is an important step in change and business transformation management. It is the responsibility of the IT leaders to find a way to effectively measure and communicate the value the transformative IT can bring, not just IT internally but benefit to the entire organization. If the other executives are not interested in your figures, that is a sign that you perhaps do not measure the right things from the business perspective, or the numbers are not presented in the right way. Set the strategic goals and measure the result accordingly.

This is a golden opportunity for CIOs to lead the way by enabling, governing and optimizing the consumer-driven technology and information management, which are going viral in the enterprise. Sure, in today's world, technology is driving business transformation, unlike previous eras during which business transformation was driven by business ideas. Take a logical scenario and manage such a digital transformation in a structural way.


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