Sunday, October 2, 2016

"CIO Master" #109: Five Characteristics of Digital Ready IT

A digital-ready IT is a thresholding competency of the organization.

The organization’s digital transformation is not just about designing a fancy website or play fancy gadgets. It has to take an overarching approach to building digital competency, optimize business processes, innovate business models, and digitize the touch points of customer experience. Here are five characteristics of running a digital ready IT.



Digital delight: IT is the business, to unleash the digital potential of IT, organizations need to understand that IT is not just technical or scientific, but also artistic and delightful. At the dawn of the Digital Era, IT needs to become a strategic partner of the business, to unleash the digital potential of the organization. There must be a very clear understanding and agreement between IT and the business about the role of IT in the organization. Both business and IT have to stay on the same page and weave IT into the business strategy, in order to build a bridge between IT and business. IT leaders can identify the critical business issues by working closely with a business partner from a long-term perspective, and leverage technology to improve interactive communication, enforce innovation management, and capture customer insight and business foresight across the enterprise boundary, and ultimately delight customers.

Digital equilibrium: Digital IT is not only faster and lighter, but also smarter and influential. Digital equilibrium is achieved via the harmony of strategy, structure and business performance. There is a key difference between digital and industrial organizations: In industrial organizations, the structure is rigid and hard to change. In a digital environment where change is constantly happening, that handicaps the organization; in the emerging digital organizations, the business leverages digital technologies and tools in enforcing holistic thinking, cross-functional collaboration and dynamic processes and case management, and it can digitize every touch point of customer experience, also generate revenue and influence business decisions. Digital IT can strike the right balance of growth and stability, innovation and standardization, to reach an optimal stage of digital equilibrium.
  
Digital fit: With emergent trend of IT consumerism, business professionals request IT to think about the opportunities made available by pervasive digitization and provide the similar technologies or tools that they use in their personal life. Information Management helps to optimize various business management, directly or indirectly related to long-term revenue. The lightweight digital fit technologies have more power, but less wire, the cornucopia of design options is exploited and managed, thus, becomes a crucial factor in an organization's success in producing digitized products and services. Digital-fit IT means hyperconnected with less wire; hyper-competitive with higher capabilities; hyper-integrated via optimization; high-efficient via automation. IT is also shifting from “built to last,” to “design to change.” They require not just the things work, but be delightful and innovative to improve their productivity and engagement.

Digital fluency: Digital means flow, information flow, idea flow, and mind flow. IT is shifting from a technology custodian to an information steward to manage the full data-performance life cycle: data -> analysis -> decisions -> performance effectively. Information Management makes information available and useful, exert lots of intelligence to capture customer insight and business foresight. An organization with digital fluency means to break down silos, create the information savvy environment that encourages the utilization and the flow of information and knowledge. An information savvy organization can make sure the right people getting the right information at the right time to make the right decision. The purpose to run IT with digital fluency is to mind the gap between business and IT, leverage the latest digital technologies to craft frictionless business culture, re-frame business processes to bridge silos, and build the optimal sets of business capabilities to delight customers.


Digital premium: Digital premium means a lot, such as business effectiveness, agility, innovation, intelligence and people-centricity. Organizations which operate this way have happy staff and customers, superior business capabilities, strong balance sheet, and positive social influence upon the environment. IT effects in radical digital to reach digital premium is to be an integrator in knitting all important business factors, to improve business agility, flexibility, and innovation; to deliver the tailored business solutions for accelerating digital shift and provide efficient tools to empower employees and improve their productivity, and to achieve the ultimate goal of building a customer-centric digital organization.


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. IT is moving up its maturity from functioning, to firm to delight, running full speed with less friction, unleash its full potential via improvement, and improve its maturity via intelligence and innovation. A digital-ready IT is a thresholding competency of the organization. It is an enabler of business digital capabilities, goes beyond an IT-business alignment, and move up to integration and engagement stage. IT can weave all necessary business elements, either hard or soft, to orchestrate a digital symphony.

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