Tuesday, November 15, 2016

"CIO Master" Book Tuning #135 An Evolving Digital IT Organization

An involving digital IT is a lever to move the business forward.

Due to the exponential growth of information and emergent lightweight digital technologies, IT continues to grow in importance to organizations, both operationally and as a competitive advantage. exemplary proficiency in planning, building and running IT is just for openers, the forward-looking companies already move beyond the IT/business alignment stage, leading the continuous transformation of the business in areas such as new business model development and the innovative use of information - these are the areas where enterprises make new markets or take leadership positions in existing ones. To put simply, an evolving digital IT organization rides above the learning curve to improve IT and overall business effectiveness, responsiveness, flexibility, agility, and maturity.

Identify key driving factors for business transformation: The evolving IT organization plays as a strategic advisor for the business. First, ask leaders and managers about the vision and business problems they are trying to solve, there needs to be a comprehensive audit of the business, to ferret out the problem areas - not just symptoms, but the real issues. Once this is done, you can figure out how to take the step-wise approach for problem-solving, whether it is adding new products or services, creating new groundbreaking business processes, building the culture of innovation, or even, adopting proven market-changing business models. CIOs need to be empowered with the opportunity to practice strategic muscle and get invited to participate at the strategic level of the conversation and contribute to business strategy and innovation because IT more often needs to lead the digital transformation of the company. The key driving factors of any business transformation include, but not limited to automation and standardization practices; organizational culture reinvention and, the transformation of data into relevant and timely information and invaluable business insight, etc. Therefore, IT leaders should be an active contributor to business strategy, innovation, lead or initiate business change and transformation.

Everyone should be pulling in the right direction: IT proactively works as an integral part of the business to capitalize on opportunity via leading the transformation, or IT delivers the best solution to the business problems which meet business’s requirement or tailor customer’s needs. And even more importantly, an evolving IT weaves all important business elements such as people, process, and technology to the cohesive business competency. IT should facilitate the business partners to the right solutions and help to implement them. It is essential for the entire company to be pulling in the right direction. First, CXOs (including the CIO) must agree on the business goals and then set up metrics and incentives based on meeting those goals for every individual in the company. If everyone understands the part they play in achieving the company goals, and they are provided the right kind of incentives, in most part, people will do the right things and metrics/checkpoints can ensure proper management and adjust to the right speed for smooth digital transformation.

An evolving digital IT organization can demonstrate business values via both business lens and customer lens: The best way to demonstrate the value of IT is to know who you are showing the value to. From the senior leadership perspective, where IT needs to provide a strategic advantage to the business line manager; where IT needs to make the function more productive. The business would like to know what's in it for them. Obviously, you are demonstrating the value of IT to business. Looking at it from the point of view of "What's in it for me?" via the business lens. IT needs to first understand what the business is, what their pain points are, identify areas for improvement and then those that can be improved with IT. The critical point is developing a partnership mentality. IT has to demonstrate value one at a time with each business manager to be fully appreciated. Focuses on the INFORMATION aspect of the role in the context of the business. The CIO has a role in selling the merits of IT to the business and quantifying projects in terms of ROI, the corporate board should support the CIO and seek to understand the importance of the solutions IT provides and future initiatives delivered with measured ROIs to the business.

An involving digital IT is a lever to move the business forward. Information & Technology and its associated methodologies and practices are parts of that leverage mechanism. Still, IT is the means to the end, not the end. IT role is critical to operational business success, but it is ever more important for business strategy and radical digital transformation.



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