Saturday, January 27, 2018

How to Improve IT visibility as the Strategic Business Partner

 The highly visible IT can elevate its maturity from “controlling to change to innovate,” from "surviving to striving to thriving,"

Even though IT permeates to almost every corner of the business, many traditional IT organizations are still perceived as an invisible back office maintenance function. Thus, to improve IT visibility as the strategic partner, CIOs should have both business leadership skill and technical knowledge to understand the business and run IT as an integral part of the business. They should raise the IT bar on a continual basis to ensure that the stakeholders get a real picture of how well IT efforts are bearing desired results and keep IT and the business on the same page.

Profit growth: IT can keep business areas up to date with the opportunities emerging technology provides. CIOs need to make an objective evaluation on how IT can directly contribute to the organization' top line growth. To improve visibility, IT needs to be considered a line of business, and not some back office or geek function. CIOs must lead IT in reaching high-level performance by taking multifaceted approaches. The first face should see the future of business and speak in the business language and at the same time, the second face must evaluate technical risks and cost of solution for your company. The ultimate success of IT should be evaluated on how IT is able to deliver innovative products/services or supply a differentiated solution that contributes to both top line business growth and the bottom line success of the organization. Making IT department a profit center is one of the biggest challenges in most IT organizations. IT leadership needs to shift their management orientation and begin thinking like entrepreneurs. CIOs must lead IT in reaching high-level performance. It is important to foster a culture of innovation, create innovative IT-enabled business models and business capabilities through a combination of existing and emerging technologies. IT professionals need to be creative enough, investigate new technologies and software, be curious about how they can blend and integrate different technologies and solutions, not as technical challenges, but for achieving business value.

Cost optimization: IT is in a unique position to oversee business processes which underpin organizational capabilities. To improve IT visibility and the organizational maturity, it’s important to leverage the latest technologies or tools to continue trimming cost or retooling business processes. Keeping fundamental right is always important. Business functional leaders need IT to ensure the availability and reliability of their business process automation tools/technology so their staff can function as efficiently as promised. IT needs to have the long-term perspective of cost optimization via consolidation, modernization, and integration. Increase visibility and transparency of the legacy environment through eliminating something which is not used and saving effort on maintaining it. There is never "enough" to optimizing operations and fine-tuning differentiated business capabilities. To reinvent IT as the value creator and improve its visibility, it is important to leverage knowledge to uncover hidden value, not only within IT but benefit the entire organization.

Productivity improvement: Business needs IT to deliver services/solutions that drive business productivity and effectiveness. This includes all aspects of the company, such as information management, logistics, application throughput, employee engagement etc. From information management perspective, IT should provide the firm with a platform to sustain and manage the business effectively with accurate and appropriate information whenever required, and also equip the business to explore/venture into new areas that'll provide value to the business. IT can empower users with the powerful technologies to improve their productivity and creativity, help employees at all levels within an organization (from leaders to front-line) understand and develop their creative capacity to solve problems and exploit opportunities in new and innovative ways. It is important to foster a culture of innovation, create innovative IT-enabled business models and business capabilities through a combination of existing and emerging technologies. A highly visible IT can deliver the innovative business capabilities to capture first-mover advantages.

IT is not just technical, but rather business-driven, the highly visible IT can elevate its maturity from “controlling to change to innovate,” from "surviving to striving to thriving," IT visibility depends on how clearly IT leaders can convey the message about the value IT brought to the business; how responsive IT can adapt to the exponentially increasing speed of changes; how well it can delight customers and how its employees feel engaged, and how capable it can drive the business's digital transformation in a seamless way.

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