Wednesday, October 12, 2016

"CIO Master" Book Tuning #118: Digital Tuning to Accelerate IT Performance

IT effects in radical digital tuning is to be an integrator in knitting all important business factors, to improve business agility, flexibility, innovation and performance.

There's almost no business initiative these days where IT is not a big piece of the puzzle, information is permeating every corner of the business, and technology continues to disrupt and innovate almost all industries with the faster pace. Thus, digital CIOs need to maximize the multitude of IT value via pursuing strategic, innovative, and tactical alignment and integration with the business seamlessly. IT managers have to continue fine-tuning and accelerating IT performance to catalyze business growth and improve customer satisfaction.

Information fluidity: Digital is about flow, data flow, information flow, knowledge flow and mind flow. Information fluidity means to break down functional silos for embracing holistic thinking and streamlining information flow, to make sure that the right information is in the right place at the right time and shared to the right persons. IT as the information steward of the business is to plan, collect, organize, use, control, store, disseminate, and dispose of its Information, and through which it helps maximize business efficiency, improve business agility by effective information management, to ensure that the value of the information is identified and exploited to the maximum extent possible for the ultimate business goals. Information fluidity is enabled via quality (right, accuracy), assurance (risk management) and exploitation (support business goals) of information, and by which IT and overall business performance can be accelerated unprecedentedly.

Capability multiplier: A business capability is the set of abilities needed by an organization to do things effectively to achieve desired outcomes, measurable benefits and fulfill business demand consistently. A highly capable IT is digital business capability multiplier. IT is the only entity in the organization supposed to understand the business entirely, has an oversight view of organizational processes horizontally, and pays attention to the processes and inter-connectivity under the surface, in order to build crucial and differentiated business capabilities. Digital capability tuning is the continuum, not just a one-time project. It is important to run IT as a business capability multiplier because a core business competency is a harmonization of multiple capabilities such that it permeates the entire organization with a focus, and in alignment with the resource-based view. In order to achieve business goals, organizations need to build a set of differentiated business capabilities and unique competency. IT is not just the sum of services or processes, but an enabler of business capabilities which can weave all necessary elements of the business into strategic capabilities to improve overall performance of the organization.

Paradox resolving: The paradox is the result of two opposing truths existing side by side, which can be both right. IT is in a unique position to bring the "Paradoxical View" of the business via understanding the business via broader angles. Digital IT needs to both set standard and encourage creativity; advocate innovation and relentlessly improve efficiency. Business innovation has the characteristic of paradox, and often creativity is sparked by conflict. Efficiency will extract the maximum benefit from a new idea. The greater the efficiency of an organization, the greater the need is for creativity to maintain high performance in the long run. If an organization is inefficient, it will be inefficient with new ideas management as well. Hence, efficiency and innovation just have to learn to live and function together. Same as the standardization vs creativity, standardization is inside-the-box for improving efficiency and reducing redundancy, and creativity is outside-the-box to generate novel ideas. Hence, organizations indeed need both, and in fact, cannot realistically exist without a healthy leverage of both. IT leaders need to learn to resolve paradoxes in order to run a high mature organization with accelerated performance.

Besides the disruptive digital technology trends, IT effects in radical digital tuning is to be an integrator in knitting all important business factors, to improve business agility, flexibility, and innovation; to fine-tune and deliver the tailored business solutions for accelerating IT and business performance, and to empower employees with efficient tools for improving their productivity, and to achieve the ultimate goal of building a customer-centric digital organization.


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