Friday, November 18, 2016

"CIO Master" Book Tuning #138: IT Fitness - Can You Manage Right to Amplify Digital Effect

Ultimately, what the forward-looking CIO and digital fit IT, in general, must truly understand the business visions and goals.

IT is an enabler of current and future capability for both the organization and its ecosystem. Much of top management conversation about IT should be to framed in respect of the business activities, keep digital fit and improve overall organizational effectiveness, agility, and maturity. The digital CIOs have to pursue strategic alignment, operational integration, and innovative brainstorming with the business. Because the long-term organizational growth is usually based on IT enable business competency, maximizing collective human capacities such as productivity improvement and collective creativity, improving operational efficiency, and managing cost optimization. A digital fit IT can become an innovation engine and growth multiplier of the organization for the journey of digital transformation.

Customer Perspective: A digital fit IT is moving up from IT-business alignment to IT-business integration and IT-customer alignment. IT has two sets of customers: The internal users and the end customers of the company. Digital IT is customer-centric, though it doesn’t mean IT is only an order taker, do whatever customers’ request for. Digital fit IT can deliver tailored customer solutions, It is IT management's responsibility to offer alternatives if they cannot deliver what is requested. IT also plays an important role in digitizing touch points of customers' experience. Well-managed IT directly influences a customer's perception of a business. IT enables business innovation to create a value proposition that would move your prospects to become your clients; more importantly, to improve customer retention. The real-time customer insight helps to improve customer satisfaction and design the next product/service to fit customers' demand. Deploy a range of technologies that focus on improving the customer's experience and perception of business services, and making the investment to deliver to them products/services which more closely meet their needs, you are doing so to a greater extent than your competitors. Thus, IT is crucial to help the business become customer-centric, highly responsive, and highly innovative.

IT investment perspective: Besides people, IT perhaps is one of the most expensive investments in modern organizations today. Besides people, IT is also one of the most invaluable assets of the business as well. Information Management helps to optimize various business management, directly or indirectly related to long-term revenue. To keep digital-fit, IT priorities which reflect business value, are clear and no longer look arbitrary. There is a comprehensive business justification for information technology investment and longevity of investment including IT expenditure vs. saving. In almost every business environment, IT is an enabler / a tool/catalyzer, or even a game changer, that needs to be used efficiently and treated as an asset like any other capital investment specified and used accordingly. Digital fit IT with wise investments can unleash its potential and the entire business potential to maximize performance and accelerate digital transformation.

Business optimization perspective: Digital fit IT is about achieving digital premium, which means a lot, such as business effectiveness, information fluidity, agility, innovation, intelligence, and people-centricity. IT has to transform into a solution provider, not just a back-office service provider. The benefit of digital fit IT is reducing the TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) as it reduces a lot of redundancy in the business process which ultimately increases the customer satisfaction (internal and external). Digital fit IT continually trims cost, ensures quality,  adapts to changes, and works on consolidation, integration, modernization, optimization management life cycle seamlessly.

A digital fit and high-performing IT will engage the business for both questions and answers, businesses also should learn and support their IT with empathy, as trust is a two-way street. When IT speaks the business language, credibility increases. Ultimately, what the forward-looking CIO and digital fit IT, in general, must truly understand the business visions and goals. Digital CIOs are uniquely placed to influence change through the expansion of domains of automation and the use of lightweight and cost-effective technologies to provide a competitive advantage, open new channels to market, retain and grow the customer base. Organizations which operate this way have happy staff and delightful customers, superior business capabilities, strong balance sheet, and positive social influence upon the environment, to ultimately achieve high-performance business results.



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