Sunday, January 15, 2017

CIOs as “Chief Inquisitive Officer: A set of Q&As (VIII) for IT Reinventing and Branding

The digital CIOs need to reimagine IT as the business growth engine and lead changes via inquiries.

Modern CIOs face many challenges, it is not sufficient to only keep the lights on. Regardless of which industry or the nature of organization you are in, being a digital leader will need to master the art of creating unique, differentiating value from piles of commoditized technologies and take advantage of the emergent digital trend as well; digital CIOs also have multiple personas, “Chief Innovation Officer,” “Chief Insight Officer,” “Chief Improvement Officer,” “Chief Information Officer,” and here, we discuss CIOs as “Chief Inquisitive Officer,” with a set of Q&As to reinvent IT and lead digital transformation.




Tough Choice for IT: Change the Name, or Reboot Mindset: IT is being treated as a cost-to-be-controlled for years -It may be reasonable because many IT organizations are seen as IT help desk to keep the lights on, or simply cannot give a fair accounting of where the money is going in terms of business capability or, more importantly, directly identifying the business value -- which leads to an inability for IT to its value to the lines-of-business. However, with business across sectors moving from industry speed to digital speed, IT becomes so pervasive and critical, information is the lifeblood of the organization, and IT is the business’s “digital brain”; many companies started with marketing driven, then finance driven, consumer driven, lately become IT driven...Can IT really be a game changer to drive business growth? Should the name then reflect the IT contributions and have people aware of the criticality of its value?


Where are the Focal Point to Brand IT Effectively Most of IT organizations today are still being portrayed as the back-office cost center, to re-in-imagine IT, IT branding needs to be part of IT transformation effort, and IT branding strategy should be an integral part of IT strategy. Your brand identity will be the face you put on your IT organization and it flows from your brand strategy. IT brand identity should be supported by the message you create and distribute to your customers. After you have your IT brand strategy and your IT brand identity in place, your can actually market the IT brand inside the enterprise.


How IT Perceived by Business? There’re discrepancies between how IT evaluate its own performance and how IT perceived by business. Here is a brief summary. Statistically, less than half of non-IT people consider their IT teams integral to the business, the survey finds, and about half consider IT a support or maintenance organization, and not an innovator. But the other half of them say technology’s becoming more critical to the business.


How to rebrand IT? IT is being treated as a cost center and technology controller for years, because many IT organizations are seen as a help desk and a maintenance center to keep the lights on, or simply cannot give a fair accounting of where the money is going in terms of business capability or, more importantly, directly identifying the business value. Now with the accelerating digital speed, IT organizations are at the crossroad, either to reinvent its tarnished image or become irrelevant in the digital age. So the challenge facing IT leaders would how to re-imagining IT and unleash its potential.


How to Promote IT Effectively? It is no secret that IT can often only be noticed when things are broken, the CIO and his/her team should be the leading persons driving that message of IT value throughout the enterprise. They are, after all, the face of the IT organization. The key challenge is to demonstrate what you provide can help the client achieve some critical purpose of theirs.


The digital CIOs need to reimagine IT as the business growth engine and lead changes via inquiries. They need to keep asking open-ended questions such as, "Why? Why not? What If?" They have to focus on guiding the company through the digital transformation, and create unique business value because IT is the significant element of any differentiated business capability and the defining factor for competitive advantage.


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