Wednesday, January 18, 2017

CIOs as “Chief Inquisitive Officer: A set of Q&As (IX) for Dealing with IT Management Dilemmas

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 lead digital transformation.


How to Take a Structural Approach to Handle Unstructured Digital Disruptions: Digital disruption is frequent and unstructured, businesses just have to get used to the new normal and learn how to deal with them proactively. Obviously, there is no one size fits all solution, and "boil the ocean" approaches seldom deliver expected results. So how to take a structural approach in dealing with digital disruptions, and what’s the logical scenario to manage digital transformation seamlessly?


How to Strike the Right Balance between “Keeping the Lights on” and Growing your Business?  Due to the limited budget and resource, most of the organizations, especially those legacy companies always struggle with keeping the lights on and changing or transforming their business. Is “running a business” always your first priority, when is strategic execution more important than keeping the lights on? Optimally, how to strike the right balance between “keeping the lights on" and growing your business?


The CIO’s Tough Choice: Should IT Be Proactive or Reactive, and When? Organizations large or small on the journey to digital transformation, IT plays a critical role as an enabler to drive changes. From IT leadership perspective, why are some CIOs reactive, rather than proactive in trying new technologies? Are they just reluctant to changing a working system, or are they not empowered enough?


Why Has IT Been Perceived as the ‘Weakest Link? IT plays a more important role in the digital transformation of the organization. It is the superglue to connect both the hard elements of the business such as processes, platforms, technologies and soft elements of the organization such as information, knowledge, culture and integrate them into a set of business capabilities, which underpin the business strategy. However, there is the perception gap between IT looks at itself and the business perceives IT. IT is often seen itself as a business enabler and change agent, but business often thinks that IT is slower to change, and even be one of the “weakest links” for the business transformation. So why is IT not getting enough respect despite all good work and huge efforts were undertaken? Where does it link to improve IT brand? To deal with such a "He said, she said" dilemma: What are the different perspectives from each party, how to integrate them into a holistic IT view and reinvent the tarnished IT reputation?


Does Anyone Ever Appreciate the Cost Savings in a Problem that Never Happens? From Wikipedia: "Quality Assurance (QA) is a way of preventing mistakes or defects in manufactured products and avoiding problems when delivering solutions or services to customers." Some say that nobody ever appreciates the cost savings in problems that never happen, is it true? From the strategic perspective, where does the quality fit in, how to maximize its value and sustain business prosperity?


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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