Thursday, January 5, 2017

The "CIO Master" Book Tuning #153: The Scalability, Speed, and Significance of Digital IT

Organizational success comes when IT and business act from 'IT vs. business' to a true partnership with high scalability, speed, and significance.

Many forward-thinking organizations are at the inflection point of the digital transformation. Any successful transformation starts and ends with a clear vision of what the transformed organization should be. They are shifting from “Doing digital” with a few isolated business or IT initiatives to “Going Digital and Being Digital” with a holistic approach to expanding to all important dimensions - and put the emphasis on Scalability, Speed, and Significance of digital IT.




Scalability: Digital is about hyperconnectivity and interdependence. The most successful organizations have a very clear vision and understanding of why they exist and the value they bring to customers and the very reason for digital transformation. The digital ecosystem expands when the digital business territories blur and the business communities broaden their scope and consume all sorts of resources. Companies operate within ecosystems to deliver value to their customers. However, for many, the ecosystems have evolved without much attention or planning. The emergence of potential opportunities for exploiting digitization is likely to follow a nonlinear pattern as the pervasiveness of an organization's digitization journey increases. To effectively respond to the digital dynamics, companies must begin thinking about ways with strategic planning to broaden their ecosystems and revenue streams while becoming more responsive and scalable. From the organizational design, capability building, and structure tuning perspectives align the different parts of the digital ecosystem to adopt more points of integration with the digital loosely coupled modular capabilities and processes, which are broken into modular service components that have standard open interfaces. Loose coupling makes it possible to change the components without affecting the system, as long as the interface is kept stable. The highly scalable digital organization can expand and amplify its influence with the ability to co-create and amplify innovation in a digital ecosystem -treats customers, channel partners, suppliers, and industry ecosystem participants as active agents who have permission to combine the modular capabilities exposed in a platform to create new experiences and expand its impact.


Speed: Digital means the accelerating speed. Information is growing exponentially, and technology is the disruptive force of the innovation. An accelerating IT separates the exploitation of the existing methods, practices, and technologies from the exploration of the new way (the next digital practices) to do things via leveraging the emergent digital trends. In a business scope, there are some of the important bits and bytes of information needed when evaluating a new market, new technology or any business growth opportunity. IT leaders need to encourage their teams to spend more time with leaders on the business side as well as directly with customers. These engagements are leading IT to be much more proactive in proposing, as opposed to just responding to ideas for new ways to improve services or actually create new customer value or business revenue. Further, IT consumerization is the catalyst to fuel today’s fast business speed, to boost employees’ productivity, to reduce the cost and to delight customers. A high-responsive IT should lead the way to lift one foot and shift the organizational structure more into participative models that better support the quantum leap in speed we are experiencing. The digital enterprise needs to be non-stop, instant-on, high-responsive, and to leapfrog digital transformation.


Significance: Low mature IT runs as a silo function with a “small thinking” - bottom up, the controller’s mindset, an order taker with change inertia. Because change could lead to the problems, and innovation may cause troubles, that’s why it’s avoided. However, to increase the significance of the digital IT, CIOs need to bold and innovative, and take IT to the next level, as the growth engine and game changer of the entire organization, within the business ecosystem. IT department should not live in a silo, or a function running as a help desk only. The significant IT becomes business driver for the digital transformation, because at today’s hyper-connected, information-driven business dynamic, there’s no shortage of problems to tackle. IT organizations have to step out of the traditional IT box, to understand the business and customers better via the longer time frame and different angles. The significance of IT is about having a purpose such as staying ahead of the competition and become the business differentiator. It's about to be able to get all the way around the task, to see it from all interests. It's about creating a structure that continually delivers what the business need and take further steps for maximizing business potential.


Organizational success comes when IT and business act from 'IT vs. business' to a true partnership with high scalability, speed, and significance. Digital CIOs need to be transformative leaders to advocate for their organization and to build the momentum for the non-stoppable digital paradigm shift.

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