Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Running IT as the “Light Power” to Navigate Digital Transformation

IT plays a crucial role to unleash the full digital potential of the business as the “light power” to expedite the digital transformation.

IT is shifting its reputation from a reactive help desk and support center behind the scene to a proactive innovation engine and change agent leading at front. A CIO must be able to add value to an organization through strategic thinking involves being visionary. Traditional IT in the industrial age is often blamed as the controller to slow down the speed of change. Digital IT is running at much faster speed, and being elevated to the “light power” for navigating digital transformation via identify obstacles and reaching destination more confidently.
 
Vision -"Begin with an End in Mind," zoom into the future as if it were closer: Determining what the future needs to look like (what the transformation must look like), and then, intrapersonal transformation and interpersonal transformation are needed to achieve the organizational transformation. The CIO must be able to work with fellow C-level executives to contribute to the vision and direction of the company. The CIO should be able to envision not only where a company believes it is going, but how it will get there, and how it might be missing out on opportunities because of limitations on understanding. If the business is the ship running on the digital volatile sea, IT needs to be like the light power telling the business about the opportunities and possibilities and that means IT needs to really understand the goals of the business and synchronize with business goals, more specifically, convey the understanding of what technology can help companies achieve. In the business reality, most of digital laggard companies often have a top executive team or BoDs who are comfortable doing things the old way and view IT as purely a support organization. It's very tough for the CIO to drive digital transformation if that is the case. And IT still runs at the industrial speed in those organizations toward the darkness and uncharted water, and often lose the direction and focus for reaching the destination.


The best organizations have both vision and future orientation: Enterprises have always been parts of simple or complex eco-systems. In order to function, an enterprise has to be linked to the many and varied ‘touch points’ between itself and the marketplace environment of which it is a part. To accelerate digital transformation, it starts with the realization that where you currently no longer can deliver the business objective and vision of success for your company and your shareholders. IT has the oversight of the underlying business functions and processes, hence, it is also in a unique position to “lighten up” the “invisible part” of the organization, and integrate both “hard” and “soft” business elements to the differentiated set of the business capabilities. Transformation requires first shifting mindset, running IT as the light power will help build the right bridge between IT and business, closing the gap is about doing the basics right to synchronize business and IT and discover the premium path for digital transformation.


Stepping out of the old IT box in order to broaden the vision and bring the insight to the business: Information potential directly impacts the business's potential of an organization. The potential value of the business all depends on how the information will be used again in the future and this is often exceptionally uncertain. The art and science of information management are to optimize its usage and achieve its value and full potential. Hence, IT plays a crucial role to "switch on" creativity, and unleash the full digital potential of the business as the “light power” to expedite the digital transformation. In addition, to run an innovative IT, the CIO should look to businesses outside their industry to spur the out-of-box thinking and dot-connecting ability; to find examples and opportunities on how other firms addressed similar challenges and implemented different types of products and services to delight customer or reach new markets. So IT can become value-added and shine through the digital transformation.


The lightweight digital technology and IT consumerism and many other factors are creating new challenges and opportunities for enterprises. They are also affecting business capabilities in many ways including but not limited to business relationship management, brand reputation, information management and competitive advantage. A high-innovative and high-performance IT like the light power, can brighten the digital ecosystem for making rapid business changes, increase the speed of digitization, clarify the destination, and ultimately improve the success rate of digital transformation.

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