Tuesday, November 22, 2016

"CIO Master" Book Tuning #142: Three Aspects in Running Digital Ready IT

Running digital ready IT is about accelerating speed to adapt to changes, being learning agile to enhance IT capacity to create, being innovative as a state of mind.

Forward-looking organizations large and small are on the journey of digital transformation. The word "transformation" in itself means change and change for the better, with new ways and methods of doing things, new structures, new relationships etc. There are changes in two shapes in IT digital transformation: One is internal where IT transforms itself to become faster and more effective, and the second is where IT helps transform or change the entire business in line with new strategic imperatives. Here are three aspects of running digital ready IT organization:

Digital ready mindset: IT is shifting from inside-out operation driven to outside-in customer oriented. Running an outside-in IT starts from mind shift of the IT leaders, the CIO plays a digital visionary and change agent role in business transformation via systematic thinking and well thought-out planning. It is important for both IT leaders and digital professionals to cultivate a healthy thinking habit in making sound judgments and effective decisions on the daily basis; equip digital ready mindsets to think broadly, think profoundly, think critically, think creatively, and think holistically. From IT talent management and performance management perspective, IT talent gap is the reality, traditional performance management becomes the very bottleneck to truly understand the authenticity and potential of talented professionals, because often “Who they are,” not just depend on what they do, or what they say, but about what they think, and how they think. To assess digital mindset, the breakdown of assessment types about thinking performance includes innate thinking capabilities and styles, cognitive skills, psychological traits, and decision-making biases; behavioral styles and patterns; motivational drivers and passions. Digital ready IT can unleash the business potential via aligning employees performance and potential with the business’s strategy and vision to build win-win advantage and business competency for the organization's long-term thriving.

Customer-centric IT management: Embracing digital is inevitable as that is now part of the business venture. Digital is the age of people. The digital revolution means that channels to customers. IT has both internal business customers and end customers. IT plays a crucial role in optimizing and digitizing every touch point of customer experience and improving overall customer satisfaction. Customer Centricity is built upon rigorous business’s capabilities and processes in which IT is the “super glue.” The strategy mapping allows IT leaders to first understand your customers and what they value and then identifies how to best characterize that value and manage a healthy IT portfolio to achieve it. When there is no willingness to serve users and on the other way round, no appetite from users to involve IT, the gaps get bigger and dangerous behaviors may get introduced. Running an outside-in, customer-centric IT, in fact, improves business responsiveness, innovativeness, and maturity.

Doing more with innovation, and doing less to achieve more: IT Transformation focuses on goals of innovation. A transformation needs to work cross boxes instead within the box. IT transformation means rationalizing current IT department, and planning to partner with the business to provide tailored service and solutions in new ways. IT transformation means doing more with innovation, transparency, and discipline. It is important to create an  "innovation culture" involves the good alignment of people, process, and technology, otherwise, it won’t sustain. Innovation needs to be well embedded into the business culture, and process mechanism in order to run an IT as an innovation engine of the organization. If you can innovate across the business, regardless of which function you are involved in, be it IT, HR, finance etc, and then you can surely change the shape of what you deliver, not just how it's delivered.

Dynamic and changing digital organizations cannot operate with static, unchanging people. A digital-ready IT can empower employees to apply technologies to perform their work in a way that benefits the enterprise. Digital ready IT means mindset ready, skill ready, people ready and culture ready. It is about accelerating speed to adapt to changes, being learning agile to enhance IT capacity to create, being innovative to commercialize the value of new ideas to drive growth, and being people centric to engage employees and improve customer satisfaction, and ultimately achieving the high-performance business result.




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