Saturday, October 22, 2016

"CIO Master" Book Tuning #126: Three IT Advantages in Driving Digital Transformation

IT management has to become an integral part of business management, running IT as a business advantage and doing more with innovation.

In today's digital business environment, information is the lifeblood, and technology touches every phase and each corner of the business, IT running in an industrial mode as a business controller or support center no longer fits in the fast changing business circumstances or volatile digital dynamic, IT becomes so critically, many times, it is a determining success factor for your long-term business strategy to achieve fast growth and long-term sustainability. Due to the changing nature of technology, IT organization also has to continue to re-imagine, reinvent and reshuffle itself to adapt to the changes and build advantages in driving digital transformation.
IT as the strategic advantage: IT professionals and IT teams need to have both an internal as well as external focus when it comes to staying up to date with advances in technology. The real question is whether IT is seen as a necessary expense, a provider of devices and software, or a true strategic business enabler, a group that creates platforms tools for individuals to do their jobs  more effectively and efficiently and create opportunities for the business’s long-term prosperity. That is exactly why IT is a team effort where members of the team work together to accomplish common goals. In order to reach the next level of organizational maturity, IT leaders and professionals should have an in-depth understanding of the business. If you cannot talk business to the business, or cannot communicate effectively about execution, you will leave others with no choice, IT staffs at all levels needs to understand how the business makes and loses money, and it needs to articulate solutions around this with business language, to truly reinvent IT as the strategic enhancer.


IT as a competitive advantage: It has become more obvious that data and information stored and processed in the IT boxes is the real source of business innovation. What a CIO should do is understand how he/she creates positive / negative value. Exemplify how IT directly impacts productivity and catalyze business innovations. CIOs should understand the business model first, otherwise, it is challenging to link the dot between business and IT. CIOs need to do a better job of articulating the existing and potential value of IT to the business, with the language and measurement senior executives understand. Once you show and demonstrate to the other CxOs that you understand the business they will respect you and give you authority, power, and influence in executive decision-making. The main aspect is HOW to create real value and how to present it quantitatively. The methods and mechanisms for doing so are found in the field of IT GRC and include disciplines like financial, demand and service portfolio management, all of which are aimed at better strategic alignment, through transparency into and continual improvement of the economic and strategic value of IT assets.


IT as the digital advantage: Digital is all about flow, data flow, information flow, idea flow, and mind flow. Technology has played a large role in “gluing” both hard and soft business elements to build a modern workforce and workplace, and orchestrate digital transformation. CIOs can work more closely with HR and talent managers to provide a digital platform, empower talent for cross-functional communication and collaboration. With increased diversification comes increased discord, it is important that the CIO spends the time to learn the business dynamics and “how people think and do things around here,” then he/she will be able to maximize the synergies and avoid duplication of efforts, optimize processes, and improve business capabilities and agility.


Organizations rely more and more on technology, The digital world is so data-driven and so information-intensive, technology needs will only expand. IT should be more robust and antifragile than ever. It is not a business drag, but a differentiated advantage. Running at digital speed, people tend to have high expectation of digital flow, very little patience with technology issues. Hence, IT departments have more obstacles to overcome and have better strategic goals to achieve. IT management has to become an integral part of business management, running IT as a business advantage and doing more with innovation.



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