Sunday, January 1, 2017

The New Year Prediction of the “Future of CIO” Blog: The HOLISM of the Digital Transformation

Digital "HOLISM" is the keyword prediction for the New Year from the "Future of CIO" blog.

The New Year bell has rung, and the fresh new year is ahead of us. The visionaries and futurists are dropping their crystal ball to predict the future trends; the thought leaders and digital masters are reading the collective mindsets to capture the foresight of the Digital Era. What is the New Year keyword prediction from the “Future of CIO” blog? The HOLISM of the digital transformation. Many organizations are at the inflection point of the digital journey, the HOLISM is the concise word to describe the very characteristics of the digitalization - hyperconnectivity and interdependence; it means the parts of a whole are in intimate interconnection, because they cannot exist independently of the whole, and it means the digital business has to break down the silos, and ensure the business as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts.


A HOLISTIC digital transformation: Digital is not just about the fancy gadget or the latest technology only. Digital transformation is the scalable expansion toward multiple directions. Digital is the gigantic puzzle with many misplaced pieces, you have to put them all in the right places to discover the true meaning and unleash its full potential. Hence, understanding the digital holism should be the digital resolution for today’s business leaders and professionals. A business ecosystem is just like the nature ecosystem, first, it needs to be understood, then, needs to be well planned, and also needs to be thoughtfully renewed as well. The digital business today is not just working within the industry, but also permeating cross-ecosystem. Constantly improve the business and see change as an opportunity while keeping a holistic overview of the business are the core messages of the new year. Digital management systems and processes are gradually moving away from a static, unidirectional, and time-bound avatar to a more dynamic, continuous, and interactive state, such a dynamic ecosystem explicitly seeks to create the holistic and creative environment where people can grow, and businesses focus on dynamic resources, long-term perspective, scalable performance and harmonized relationship. Talent-empowered digital masters also embed the multiplier mindsets and best practices into their strategies, processes, operations and governance, and move from a key competitive mindset to an important and distinctive source of competitive advantage - innovation capability. Further, to effectively respond to these new digital dynamics, companies must begin thinking about ways to broaden their ecosystems and revenue streams while becoming more responsive and innovative. The information-abundant, hyper-competitive economic environment makes the world more complex than ever, businesses can no longer perform better without partnering enough, the industrial competitors also need to collaborate with each other more frequently to solve many common challenges together, and make a radical digital leap.


The HOLISTIC thinking and problem-solving: Digital transformation is to optimize the whole, not the separate silos. Silo vision and thinking tends to hinder any efforts to systematically reduce operational complexity. Without a cross-functional, end-to-end perspective across the entire enterprise, managers tend to focus on their own functions or departments. This silo thinking is a source of process complexity to slow information flow and stifle innovation. In the industrial era, silo thinking or fixed mindset is OK to survive as the business and world are more static, isolated and slow to change; however, at age of digitalization, with the accelerating speed of changes, the holistic and growth mind is needed to make a continuous improvement and transformation. It needs to be the new year resolution for the digital leaders and professionals to cultivate the healthy thinking habits, shape the new thinking boxes, and practice creative problem solving via digging into the root causes and understanding the situation holistically. During the digital transformation journey, shall you continuous check: Are you framing the good digital strategy about the future and positioning appropriately for your place within it? Do you understand the gigantic digital puzzle holistically? Do you have enough resource to implement the digital strategy? Have you put the right talent in the right position to solve the right problems? Are the assumptions and risks understood and manageable? Are you doing the right things? Are you doing them the right way or pondering the better way to solve the old problems? Are you doing them well? Are you achieving the desired outcomes to balance the quick win and the long term result? Are you transforming to be ready for the future? Visionary and motivational leaders are on demand. Digital visionaries with holistic thinking are both nature and nurtured. They step into the future much earlier than others due to the nature arrangement, and their future-oriented mindsets further enforce their vision as if the future is closer.Their holistic thinking will help the organization to lead the digital journey toward the blurring digital territories and uncharted water with a structural and step-wise approach.


The HOLISTIC information and technology solution with “SMAC” maturity: Digital transformation is not just about IT, but IT is the thresholding business competency built through both the hard and soft business elements to enable changes and make a leap of the digital transformation. It’s about taking the journey of the road less traveled. it’s not the IT for technology’s sake, it’s the technology for people, it is the convergence of enterprise IT with consumer IT to create the synergy by taking advantage of collective thinking and doing. Cloud computing is changing how businesses think about IT delivery and standardization. Analytics is not just one or two departments’ business or hobby but about how to run a high-intelligent and high-responsive business, and how people manage most things in the future. Mobile is changing the customer relationship; the business is always-on, hyperconnected, and needs to be always available, always relevant, and always helpful. And social computing and collaboration tools truly help to break down the silos, make the digital more tangible, and enforce the cross-functional communication or collaboration. The digital convergence of devices and services are creating new business models and revenue source as most companies across industries are being forced to become the information management business. It represents a merging of corporate and consumer capabilities within the organization. It blurs the line between professional life and personal life. At the individual level, it’s about presenting “Who you are?” HOLISTICALLY with authenticity; at the organizational level, it is about building a people (customer, employee, shareholder, partnership, etc.) centric business with a HOLISTIC strategy.  


For individuals, “keeping digital fit” is a great new year resolution, it is not only about the physical fit but also about the MIND FIT. Mindset is everything. Mindset is the most valuable thing to shape every progress, but also the root cause of all mankind problems. For organizations, only less than 5% of organizations reach the highest level of digital maturity as the digital masters. For the majority of organizations, it is the right timing from doing digital to going digital and being digital. The key differentiation is HOLISM. Digital makes a profound impact from the specific function to the business as a whole and the entire digital ecosystem. Often time the businesses can only be re-invented right after their struggling industry being rebooted, the whole business ecosystem needs to communicate, negotiate and cooperate with each other to re-invent. That is the journey of the digital transformation.

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