Welcome to our blog, the digital brainyard to fine tune "Digital Master," innovate leadership, and reimagine the future of IT.

The magic “I” of CIO sparks many imaginations: Chief information officer, chief infrastructure officer , Chief Integration Officer, chief International officer, Chief Inspiration Officer, Chief Innovation Officer, Chief Influence Office etc. The future of CIO is entrepreneur driven, situation oriented, value-added,she or he will take many paradoxical roles: both as business strategist and technology visionary,talent master and effective communicator,savvy business enabler and relentless cost cutter, and transform the business into "Digital Master"!

The future of CIO is digital strategist, global thought leader, and talent master: leading IT to enlighten the customers; enable business success via influence.

Monday, August 21, 2017

The New Book “Digital Boardroom: 100 Q&As” Quote Collection IV

The purpose of the book “Digital Boardroom: 100 Q&As “is to share 100 insightful questions for rejuvenating the boardroom to get digital ready. It is important for boards to make invaluable inquiries and take proactive approaches for leading digital transformation seamlessly. Here is a set of quotes to convey the vision on how to build the digital ready boardroom.

59 The board of directors should take an outlier’s lens to criticize the business strategy via questioning wisely.
60 The risk management needs to lift up from risk control to risk intelligence which can identify the potential business growth opportunities.
61 IT is an enabler of current and future capability for both the organization and its ecosystem.
62 Innovation is too important to leave solely in the hands of the management team without any oversight or guidance.
63 An ultra modern board can set a clear choice among future scenarios that advocate innovation, advancement, and promotes positive behaviors.
66 The board’s oversight of information management agenda helps to highlight the strategic perspective of IT and improve its differentiated value.
67 The board should frequently brainstorm IT impact on the business and leverage technological vision to the business’s strategic planning.
68 The digital boards today should be informed on what benefit is being delivered by IT and aware of constraints and risks.
69 Leadership including directorship is crucial to strengthen the business links and weave them to the differentiated business capabilities.
70 The digital board’s IT inquiries help to clarify the strategic role of IT in maximizing business potential.
71 Board directors as key strategic decision makers in the organization need to understand the information potential and become IT advocates.
72 The board’s oversight of information management can highlight the importance of information flow, set the tone for building the culture of information-based decision-making.
73 The value of information is qualitative, measurable, and defined uniquely to an organization.
74 All forward-looking organizations declare they are in the information management business.
75 To gain digital insight and lead business transformation effortlessly, the digital board directors need to become more information savvy and IT friendly.
76 The role of IT today from many organizations is a business solutionary and the builder of digital capability and competence.
77 The boards as top leadership team can no longer avoid, delegate, or ignore the need for technical competency among their ranks.
78 Many foresightful boards invite CIOs to the big table for bridging gaps and harnessing communications to accelerate digital transformation.
79 IT savvy boards will have the advantage of pulling enough resources and pushing the technology-enabled business change and innovation.
80 How deeply the corporate boards can dig and which questions they should ask will directly impact on the success rate of IT investment and the boardroom governance effectiveness.
81 The board’s IT investment review and strategy oversight help to fill the blind spots and bring the new perspective on improving information system effectiveness and efficiency.
82 Guiding principles let the organization know what to expect when dealing with IT.
83 Every IT decision is the business decision, and the goal is to make timely and effective decisions to benefit the organization for the long run.
84 When IT becomes the “digital brain” of the organization, the business will become more responsive, smarter, innovative, and adaptive.
85 An IT-friendly board should oversee the business strategy with IT strategy as an integral component.
86 The digital board’s IT inquiries help to clarify the strategic role of IT in maximizing the digital potential of the company.

CIOs as "Chief Insight Officer": Three HOWs” to Reinvent IT and Get Digital Ready

Organizations large or small are on the journey of digital transformation, the IT is no doubt becoming more critical than ever for the business’s success. CIOs as digital leaders, how do you view the role of the IT department today? Is it a solution provider, or only a service provider? How to apply the latest technologies for improving business performance and how to leverage information to capture business insight and maximize business potential? What percentage of the day is spent with each of the roles your IT department is handling? What are strategic HOW and technique HOWs to reinvent IT to get digital ready?

How does IT become innovative? Traditional IT is perceived by the business as a support center only and gets stuck at the low level of maturity. To digitize IT and the entire business, IT needs to play a different role to the situation at hand. IT leaders need to identify the issues associated with innovation in an enterprise and actually have developed a unique model and platform for open innovation. IT should be able to strike the right balance between innovation and standardization, IT should play as an optimistic and cautious innovator with an in-depth understanding of information and technology potential and limitation, opportunity, and risk. It means that the IT can help the business smell growth opportunities, avoid risks, and identify the critical business issues by working closely with a business partner from a long-term perspective, and leverage technology to manage innovation across the enterprise boundary. Running an innovative IT means that IT leaders understand stakeholders’ expectations and propose an innovative solution portfolio that corresponds to both demand and cost drivers with a focus on business priority, IT-led business innovation can both go broader and deeper via connecting cross-functional, cross-business, or even cross-industrial dots, because IT is at the unique position to have a holistic view of the business as well as underlying business functions and structures. To manage innovation in a structural way, you need to frame the creative process and leverage limited resources to keep focus, set time limits, apply varying thinking techniques for managing innovation portfolios in a more productive and sustainable way.

How does IT deliver maximum business value? Even the most powerful IT is not for its own sake, the real goal of IT, just like every part of the organization, is to help the  business become, stay, and increase profitability! That means IT should no longer just take the orders, they have to become the trusted business partner. IT has to be involved in the key decision-making. Because nowadays, there is always some technology elements or information refinement needed for solving complex business problems or building business competency. the From business management perspective, when you look at defining an issue, constructing a solution, and then communicating that; don't you seek to involve the people that will do the work or will have to support the solution later? Thus, IT leaders should have a seat at the big table for participating strategic level communication, and sharing technological vision. IT and business have to speak the same language and communicate more creatively, set the right priority for catalyzing business growth, improving overall business performance. The business expects ROI. It is true that the majority of IT organizations still cannot articulate their economic value to the board or shareholders in a language they understand and performance metrics will not solve the problem. IT leaders must be both business strategists and technology visionaries, always think in terms of the value-add to the business, and IT is the business.

How to run IT as the business solutionary? To improve IT organizational maturity, IT must shift from a commodity service provider to a savvy business partner and a capable business solutionary. The trick is that many IT organizations spend too much time on taking band-aid approaches and solving immediate problems, without spending enough resource and time on building business competencies and transform their business to get digital ready. IT is also not doing enough to prevent them from reoccurring. From information management perspective, IT does not add value by simply storing, maintaining, and securing information. That is necessary and a given. But the true magic is when IT helps to harness and understand that information, and capture the invaluable business insight from it. It is important for providing ways to better recognize and act on that information for competitive advantage. To become the great business solutionary, IT needs to understand business problems and provide advices and recommendations to the business on how to leverage technology in problem solving and innovation. It is important for IT to discuss with the business customers on  what's possible" not just "what do you want." This requires a certain depth of understanding the business and having your input respected. IT can capture the organizational knowledge to continuously improve performance, and harness innovation, ultimately improve the organizational level maturity.

The strategic “HOW” about reinventing IT is to build a people-centric IT organizations for both delighting customers and engaging employees; to do more with innovation, and to become the trusted business advisor. And the technique know how about IT is to leverage the emerging IT trends, update knowledge and overcome technologic complexity. The CIO must be concerned as to whether the digital ecosystem will function as expected, and develop the best and next practices to reinvent IT to get digital ready.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

The New Book “Digital Boardroom: 100 Q&As” Quote Collection III

The contemporary corporate board as the top leadership team plays a directorial role in envisioning the future of the business and overseeing the corporate strategy.

The purpose of the book “Digital Boardroom: 100 Q&As “is to share 100 insightful questions for rejuvenating the boardroom to get digital ready. It is important for boards to make invaluable inquiries and take proactive approaches for leading digital transformation seamlessly. Here is a set of quotes to convey the vision on how to build the digital ready boardroom.

43 Good boards advise and get all those fundamentals right.
44 Corporate governance is to make sure that management is doing its job properly.
45 The board’s role is to pull management out of the trees to see the forest.
46 The paradox is “a situation, person, or thing that combines contradictory features or qualities.”
47 The contemporary corporate board as the top leadership team plays a directorial role in envisioning the future of the business and overseeing the corporate strategy.
48 The corporate board should set the tone to “baking in” the vision into the DNA (culture) and drive change proactively.
49 The true vision is a reflective process of an organization really understanding itself and its purpose to perceive the future of business.
50 Strategy blind spots are often created by the lack of future-driven mindset or a systematic approach to form and implement a strategy.
51 Diversification is a component and in some cases a very good initiation of value creation.
52 Information and decision-making are intimately connected and interdependent, this is particularly true in the digital era.
53 Information as input to the decision-making does not absolutely determine the decision but allows the decision-maker to practice analytical thinking and exercise their judgment.
54 Board directors need to work closely and collaboratively with the management to identify opportunities and risks and take the digital journey from good to great.
55 The board updates policies for adapting to the digital new normal for both enforcing the effectiveness of strategy management and harnessing business governance maturity.
56 The high performing board shows the ability and openness to “question itself, senior management team, and its decision/discussions.”
57 The board directors see the development of strategy as a collective effort between themselves and management, rather than a question of “us versus them.”

58 People are always one of the weakest links in strategy execution.

CIOs as “Chief Insight Officer”: Three Aspects to Run Digital IT

Running digital IT means doing more with innovation, transparency, and discipline.

Digital technologies bring unprecedented convenience for either individuals or businesses to think, live, shop or sell, run, grow, and transform. Information becomes the gold mine every forward-thinking organization try to dig in. IT does provide a significant role in driving changes and leading digital transformation. Digital is the age of innovation with the increasing pace of changes, it provides the great opportunity to think the new way to do things, so it forces IT leaders to get really creative on how they conduct digital transformation and implement changes, to ensure IT is strategically positioned to be ahead of where the business is moving next. Here are three aspects to run digital IT.

High-responsive: In traditional organizations, IT is often set back, waiting for the business’s requests, and IT is perceived by the business as slow to change. With fierce competitions and rapid changes, IT has to meet the needs of the business timely; IT leaders should facilitate change driven by the business unit, and they should also monitor those elements of the needed change within the appropriate scope, because IT needs to quickly and cost-effectively confirm that the corresponding changes work smoothly to move the business forward and meet customers’ standardization. There is also the time IT has to act as the change agent for driving changes and advocate innovations. Reinventing IT means that IT leaders must not fall into the role of facilitating flawed or incomplete business initiatives, but establish their IT organization as part of the business, rather than just a service organization for it so that opportunities for defining a successful business rationale are identified and collaborative. Running the high-responsive IT means changeability, speed, flexibility, and risk intelligence. Digital IT catalyzes information flow and drives business changes proactively. Running a highly responsive IT also needs to get support from front desks to boardrooms, because it might need to work cross boxes instead within the box. And the common element of running a proactive IT is business engagement - whatever and wherever the business needs are.

Intuitive: Running digital IT also means how to move up IT maturity from functioning to firm to delight. Digital is the age of people and option. There are two sides of IT, the front side of IT facing customer should be intuitive, easy to use, hide the complexity nature of technology which is running at the back side. Today’s IT leaders and professionals are not just engineering nerds or computer geeks, but artistic technologists or scientific artists. Those “T-shaped” talent can play a significant role in gluing all critical pieces of innovation puzzles properly. They can fluently mix the art and science to innovate the products or services and delight customers via intuitive interfaces. To delight customers and optimize the customer's’ experience, IT needs to champion intuitive and easy to use customer tailored solutions to achieve specified goals and optimize customer experience in a continuous delivery way. A real customer-centric approach permeates into everything about the way the CIO leads in the business. An intuitive IT enabled business solution meeting the customer’s criteria such as, what the users need it to do, the way they want to do it, quickly enough, accurately enough, and easy to use, etc. The digital IT paints an excellent picture of the business interaction and independence of the expanded digital ecosystem.

Maintainable: The majority of IT organizations spend the significant portion of their resource and talent on maintaining IT to keep the lights on, no wonder they get stuck at the lower level of maturity to react to changes. In fact, most systems cost more to maintain than build! IT maintainability is decided by the quality of IT delivery, reusability, module design, process flow, etc. To improve IT maintainability, IT needs to prune “the weed” regularly and keep the process nimble. The approach is to implement a program that like a gardener would prune the tree and nurture the valuable solutions. IT has the power to affect not only break-fix day-to-day technical operations but also directly impact the bottom line of business activities & efficiency and the top line of business growth and competitive edge. IT should provide the business with a platform to manage and sustain change effectively with accurate and appropriate information whenever required, and also provide the business to explore/venture into new areas that'll provide value to the business. The assessment of IT maintainability includes:
- time to change: how much time does it take to change to happen
- time to recover: how much time to resume normal operation
- time to compliance: how much time required to achieve business compliance
- time to detect: how much time before detection of business risk
- time to resolve: how much time before awareness turns into business resolution

Running digital IT means doing more with innovation, transparency, and discipline. If the CIO is proactive and innovative, IT can be run in a proactive mode to make continuous delivery of customer-tailored products/services/solution, and to become a changing organization in their company. An effective CIO’s job is to improve IT operations to reduce the burden on the company while trying to stay current with ever-changing business dynamic.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

The New Book “Digital Boardroom: 100 Q&As” Quote Collection II

The deeper you can perceive the holistic digital impact, the further you can reach the digital vision and pinnacle.

The purpose of the book “Digital Boardroom: 100 Q&As “is to share 100 insightful questions for rejuvenating the boardroom to get digital ready. It is important for boards to make invaluable inquiries and take proactive approaches for leading digital transformation seamlessly. Here is a set of quotes to convey the vision on how to build the digital ready boardroom.

22 Digital boards are the strategic advising role, they are also the “mastermind” behind the digital transformation.
23 A good digital strategy should identify the business challenges, make options, and take stepwise actions based on a clear roadmap to achieve the well-defined business goals and objectives.
24 You have to collect enough information, listen to different POVs, as everything has more than one side and you have to master them all.
25 Each functional leader owns their piece of sub-strategies, but they have to work collaboratively to ensure the cohesive strategy management.
26 In practice, even in the simplest organizations, the industrial “speed” is not homogeneous across the enterprise.
27 Organizations should both develop the updated digital practices to manage performance and the digital methodologies to unleash the business potential.
28 Accountability and oversight are all part of the game changes that boards must address.
29 The corporate board plays a significant role in making the judgment on and assurance of corporate action within a framework of practical knowledge.
30 A solution is nothing if the problem is not perceived.
31 The digital board needs to know when to push the gas pedal to accelerate the business speed, and when to push the brake to practice governance discipline.
32 To overcome the business vulnerability to changes, new competitors or a new breed of customer behaviors, digital organizations today should have a degree of variability.
33 From the boardroom to the front line, you need to believe that, the customer is the lifeline of the business.
34 The deeper you can perceive the holistic digital impact, the further you can reach the digital vision and pinnacle.
35 The corporate board can help to make an objective assessment of the maturity of digital capabilities as well as how further and how deep your digital transformation can reach.
36 It takes a lot of energy to break old habits and outdated thought processes.
37 The corporate board oversees the corporate strategy, and the business strategy is underpinned by business capabilities.
38 A digital board with high-changeability can navigate the business toward the uncharted water and drive change more confidently.
39 Digital boards should set the tone for talent development and management.
40 Create an innovative boardroom with “free atmosphere,” so directors are inquisitive to ask great, tough questions for deepening understanding.
41 The corporate boards need to focus on their own performance as well as the performance of the management team.
42 Boards need to master risk intelligence to identify both business risks and opportunities.

Timing, People, and Change Management

It is critical to capture the right timing from changes, make people at the center of change, and take the logical scenario to make change more nature, less painful.

Change is the new normal, and the speed of change is accelerating. However, the responses to change are woefully underrated by business as keys to sustainability and success. Change Management has a very wide scope and is a relatively new area of expertise. How do you assess an organization that is ready for change? How can you understand the psychology behind changes? How should you measure change readiness and evaluate change outcome? Which questions shall you ask for exploring the correlation between timing, people, and change management, and how to improve Change Management effectiveness to exceed the business’s expectation?

Are your Change Management processes functioning to deliver results consistent with the strategic intent? If not, it is the TIME to change. Change shouldn’t be just a couple of random business initiative for reacting to changes. Businesses will be more successful when they realize that one of their greatest strengths will be their change capability. Change management and strategy management should go hand-in-hand. The change should be based on planning strategy; defining exactly what/where/when changes are desired, necessary, and achievable, also ascertain who are the best change leaders within the organization to help carry out and manage the changes and those who might pose as impediments to change. There is the long term mythology for big changes and the short term mythology for small changes. Change is always easier if you have insight and knowledge, less fear of, the unknown risks. It requires a plan and strategy, and most importantly business execution. That means you have an adequate, logical, and systematic effort to manage change or the business transformation. You have to define the change situation and the desired result before plowing into any effort, from measured progress to critical survival. Pre-contemplation, contemplation, decision, preparation, action, adjustment, maintenance are the logical steps in managing change scenario. Know what is an acceptable outcome, what resources the change need to leverage and how urgently to act. Make change sustainable.

Are your people acting in a way that is consistent with the business progression? If not, it’s the TIME to change. Because change needs to be sponsored from the top, but change cannot be fully controlled and managed top-down, it has to be proactively made bottom up. Change inertia is the reality, most people have come to believe it's easier and safer to adapt to a culture rather than promote or initiate change. Thus, walking people through the process of resistance is key. Most people are quite willing to put the effort in change. What they don't want is 'to be changed by others.' That calls out for resistance. So let them be part of the direction, speed, and way you are heading. It is also important to enable and motivate teams to select best options and provide framework or tools, helping them align all the options from teams, in order to deliver change results consistent with the strategic intent of the organization. From people management perspective, changes are best when they do not like changes. Change management as a competency needs to reside in all areas of business where change happens. Change needs to be human-centered. People should know "where you are driving them to" and "what's on it for them." Change management should make sure the people are acting in a way that is consistent with the business progress. When people feel valued they contribute significantly, they are inspired to think bigger, and they are motivated to step out of their comfort zone. Dynamic and changing organizations cannot operate with stable unchanging people.  If people are used to taking action of their own and are also responsible for it, you can move mountains.

Are your processes and people integrated to ensure a consistent ability to deliver business result? If not, it is the TIME to change. Change is an ongoing business capability underpinned by the logical process and “changeable” people integrated to ensure the smooth strategy execution. Change purposes, methodologies, and practices should be updated and well understood, otherwise, people might lose patience, their interest fades away, and they disassociate themselves quickly. It’s also important to defining and tracking business benefits delivery and the associated change in mindset and behavior, and the business’s ability to set metrics for the progress along the way is essential to keep the change momentum unabated and uplifting. It is important for creating both internal and external beliefs around how the business is a movement for enablement and improvement. Change managers need to regularly update and identify individual team members’ strengths and weaknesses, this enables timely intervention where and when challenges are identified. What underpins the change process and methodology is the genuine valuing of people. Building the expectation for the next step and commitment that will follow.

Closer to reality is that 'change' is continuously happening in the environment of a company. From change management perspective, it is critical to capture the right timing from changes, make people at the center of change, and take the logical scenario to make change more nature, less painful. The desires of stakeholders, clients, and employees are evolving naturally. Business can no longer work on the basis of static exploitation internally or externally as it has been pursued in the past. Change becomes a dynamic business capability.

Friday, August 18, 2017

The New Book “Digital Boardroom: 100 Q&As” Quote Collection I

The board composition should be synchronized with the digital perspective of the business.

The purpose of the book “Digital Boardroom: 100 Q&As “is to share 100 insightful questions for rejuvenating the boardroom to get digital ready. It is important for boards to make invaluable inquiries and take proactive approaches for leading digital transformation seamlessly. Here is a set of quotes to convey the vision on how to build the digital ready boardroom.

  1. The high-performing board shows the ability and openness to question itself and its decisions and discussions.
  2. The board’s “Deep Common Sense” leads toward “Effective Judgment.”
  3. The composition of boards should reflect approximately the profile of the company’s stakeholders, such as shareholders, employees, customers, and suppliers.
  4. The high-performing board shows the ability and openness to “question itself and its decisions.”
  5. To put simply, “diversity of thoughts” should be the deciding factor the board to embrace inclusiveness.
  6. The board should set digital principles and guidelines for allowing the business to manage innovation in an effective way.
  7. The best fit for the board depends on the board’s current makeup, culture, and which “gap” needs to be filled.
  8. Asking insightful and pertinent questions is critical for governing changes at the board-level.
  9. The best fit for the board depends on the board’s current makeup and culture, as well as which gap needs to be filled.
  10. The “deep diverse” BoDs can practice independent thinking, bring the differentiated point of views, ideas, and capabilities to the table, and fulfill the board duty more effectively.
  11. The diversity along with deep knowledge of the business will allow board directors to be real “thought partners” with senior management as they consider the longer-term goals beyond quarterly earnings.
  12. The digital board’s success plan needs to be well aligned with the board composition, as well as the business's strategy evolution and digital transformation.
  13. The boardroom composition will directly impact on how they lead and which tone they will set for the entire organization to follow.
  14. The high-performing board shows the ability and openness to question itself and its decisions and discussions.
  15. The high-effective board with board directors having the mixed capabilities and skills can make effective decisions in deliberation, moving the enterprise forward, ensuring the organization makes sense.
  16. One of the biggest challenges in this complex, multipolar world is the fact that we need different perspectives, different knowledge/expertise, and different ways to solve a new or old problem.
  17. BoDs direct and oversee, like the steering wheel of the business vehicle.
  18. The digital board directors assume the dual role of guidance and governance steering.
  19. The board composition should be synchronized with the digital perspective of the business.
  20. The board is responsible for ensuring an appropriate mix of skills, knowledge, and experiences are present or available for it to fulfill its function.
  21. One of the great responsibilities of the board is to make good policies and set the culture tone for the organization to compete for the future.

Three Big “Hows” to Improve Digital IT Maturity

IT leaders must grasp both the strategic “HOW” about IT potential, priority, and differentiated business advantage; and the tactical “HOW” about the IT management methodology and the next IT practices.

IT continues to grow in importance to organizations, both operationally and strategically. IT is the huge and expensive investment in most of the organizations, whether it is "planning" or "performance," "process" or "people," “Information” or “innovation” issues, IT becomes the decisive success factor for the business’s long term perspective. However, the majority of IT organizations are still getting stuck at the lower level of maturity. In practice, the CIOs shouldn't have been “overwhelmed” by the complexity of IT and uncertainty of business dynamic, Here are three big “HOWs” to improve digital IT maturity.  

How to achieve true business and IT partnership: When IT gets stuck at the lower level of maturity, it is only a support center and an order taker, IT leaders don’t have the seat at the big table, the focus of IT is to “keep the lights on” only. There is an inherent conflict if IT views its primary objective as alignment, standardization, rationalization, and consolidation, but nowadays at the era of digitalization, IT means innovation, integration, improvement, and customer delight, etc. Hence, the first big “HOW” IT leaders should ask themselves, as well as their business partners and the staff is - how to achieve true business and IT partnership. In practice, IT needs to behave more like an integral part of the business. Trust is the key, trust means how to strike the right balance upon when IT should lead, and when IT should follow; what IT can give up control, and what IT needs to control. IT can no longer feel like it has a monopoly on delivering solutions to the business. IT should feel a competitive pressure. It can drive IT to run more like business as well as understand the business strategies more comprehensively. The trust also means that IT and business can work closely to deliver business solutions with digital speed. Business often gets frustrated about the speed of IT because they can see the ease of on-demand IT service delivery and use of easily accessible IT solutions that fit some of their business needs, they see how far technology has advanced, they see the ease with which new services are deployed on-demand. Only based on trust, empathetic communication, and cross-functional collaboration, IT can become the strategic partner of the business and improve IT organization maturity.

How Should CIOs respond to endless internal customer demands for IT solutions? IT is often overloaded and understaffed, IT takes orders from the business without setting the right priority. This is the other reason that the majority of IT organizations get stuck at the lower level of maturity. A good place to start improving IT performance and maturity is by trying to get all parts of the business on the same process for proposing, justifying and prioritizing business - including IT. An integral and high-effective IT is the ultimate status for IT to deliver better fit, right-on and cost-effective solutions, even you cannot fulfill all business’s demands, but you deliver what you promise, and you do what is best fit for business’s strategy and goals. IT is not always following the order but acts as the trusted business partner to provide an alternative solution to business problems more effectively. If people see IT as part of the same process, getting critical stuff done now, having to defer some, just like them, that goes a long way to gain credibility when it comes to arguing that the surprise new thing will impact the company’s agreed priorities. IT has to work more closely and strategically with the business for achieving the common business goals and delivering higher-than-expected business performance.

How can IT catalyze business growth: To move up IT management maturity, it has to transform from a cost center to a business innovator and the business growth catalyzer. IT is not only supporting the business goals, IT helps the company win businesses. There should also be strong interaction between other business functional leaders and IT leaders and their teams with feedback mechanisms and willingness to find solutions that can support both the business need and build any ROI required to justify the business case. IT manages the life blood of the business -information, and it helps to refine information into the business insight which further leads to business innovation. The real-time business insight creates the differentiated value proposition for moving your prospects to become your customers and improving customer satisfaction and retention. IT is one of the most critical components in building unique business competency and the long term organizational advantage. At the digital era with “VUCA” characteristics, running IT as an innovation engine can often open out ideas since the business will be identifying the business pains, and figure out the tailored solutions that IT can drive. It is also important to measure and validate the ROI. Make sure the executive team first understands what it needs to drive future business growth, and put the framework in place to map the strategic objectives into KPIs and then determine what IT investments will accelerate the changes and enable the business growth you want to see in your KPIs.

IT leaders must grasp both the strategic “HOW” about IT potential, priority, and differentiated business advantage; and the tactical “HOW” about the IT management methodology and the next IT practices. Optimization of business technology should not be the be-all and end-all at the expense of the health of the overall organization. IT maturity should be proportional to the overall business maturity. And IT is the business’s long-term advantage.